Mobile wireless broadband use jumps 21.7%

A survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that mobile broadband usage across Australia has grown by 21.7% from December 2009 to the end of June 2010.

The ABS has characterised mobile wireless broadband as internet connections using a “datacard, dongle or USB modem.” The ABS has not included internet connections via a mobile phone in this figure.

The survey found that there were 9.6 million active internet subscribers across Australia. While mobile wireless broadband was the fastest growing technology in internet access, DSL connections remained the favourite and accounted for 44% of internet connections within Australia. In December 2009, DSL accounted for 47% of internet connections.

Unsurprisingly, dial-up connections are on their way out. The survey showed dial-up accounted for only 8% of internet connections in Australia. Internet speeds are on their way up, with 71% of Australians achieving an average download speed of 1.5mbps or greater.

Major ISPs have been making efforts to improve their mobile wireless broadband networks. Telstra has recently released a superfast wireless modem, and Optus has expanded their 3G network.

Prices have also improved, with Vodafone now offering 4GB for $49 on a no-contract plan, while Dodo is currently offering 5GB and a free Asus netbook on a 24-month contract for $59.90 a month.