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AU: Wireless Internet Connections Exceed Fixed Line
Source: itwire.com
Source Date: Monday, September 20, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Australia
Created: Sep 20, 2010

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its latest Internet Activity Report. It has included mobile handsets for the first time putting mobile connections well ahead of fixed.

On the basis of the ABS's previous methodology there were 9.6 million Internet connections of all types in Australia at the end of June, 3.455 million of which were mobile wireless defined as being USB dongles or modems, and data cards.

In addition to this 9.6 million it has now identified 6.781 million subscribers with active Internet connections from their mobile handsets, giving a total of over 10 million subscribers using cellular networks for Internet access.

ABS has collected data on dongle and datacard usage since 2006 but has hitherto excluded mobile handsets because "they were not viewed as a viable alternative to traditional fixed-line Internet connections."

ABS notes that "with the recent emergence of more powerful mobile handsets, high speed Internet access is now possible via a mobile handset [and] increasingly, this type of internet connection is viewed as a viable alternative to fixed-line internet access."

The ABS says it has conducted an investigation into a suitable methodology to collect data on Internet connections via mobile handsets, and has extended its mobile wireless definition to include 'dedicated data subscriptions' and all other 'active standard mobile subscriptions' via mobile handsets.

It defines a 'dedicated data subscription' as "a subscription over a mobile network which is purchased separately to voice services either as a stand-alone service or as an add-on package," and says there were 1.214 million of these at the end of June.
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