The Australian Communications and Media Authority has released its latest report on the cost of mobile phone bills in Australia.
The ANMRA’s latest report has found Australians are spending an average of $2,900 a year on mobile phone service, a whopping $1,800 more than the previous year and $1.60 more than in the previous quarter.
The ANMRC also found Australians spent $1 billion more on mobile phones than they did in the first quarter of the year.
However, it says Australians spend just over half of the total cost of their mobile phone plans.
The $1 million per year increase in spending per household is due to the introduction of new wireless and fixed broadband plans in the new year.
The data showed mobile phone use rose from 10.5 per cent of the population in the fourth quarter of last year to 14.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2018, with a slight decrease in the number of users between those three quarters.
The report shows Australians spend more on their mobile broadband than they do on their landline, and that number is growing.
The ANAAP has criticised the ANMMA’s report for suggesting Australians were “frugal”, with the agency claiming the ANMA’s research was based on assumptions that “simply do not exist”.
“The report assumes that the consumer is paying $1 a month for their mobile internet service and that this is their primary income,” ANAAMRA spokesperson and spokesperson for Communications and Consumer Affairs, Scott Geddes, told The Australian.
This report is based on one assumption which is simply wrong,” Gedds said.””
The $3.7 billion cost of the NBN was a $1 increase over the previous four years.”
“This report is based on one assumption which is simply wrong,” Gedds said.
Instead of using that money to fund a $7.5 billion NBN, they should have spent it to fund an improved broadband network.””
If the NBN had been a $10 billion investment, we would have seen that amount spent on mobile internet.”
Instead of using that money to fund a $7.5 billion NBN, they should have spent it to fund an improved broadband network.
“He added: “The report also makes assumptions that the average user will spend on their broadband plan, and they don’t.
“We have been able to prove this with a recent audit by the Department of Communications and Multimedia which shows Australians were spending $1billion a year more on broadband.”
The ANMAA also criticised the Australian Government for “failing to adequately consider the cost to consumers of a $30 per year mobile phone user bill” and for not “identifying and addressing the significant impact that these charges will have on consumers and their ability to access their online services”.
“These costs will be passed on to consumers, the majority of whom are not paying any part of the cost because they are relying on the existing network and can’t afford to upgrade,” Geads said in a statement.
“That is why the Government should immediately implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce the costs of broadband.”
“The Government must also provide more affordable phone service to those Australians who need it most,” he added.
“We urge the Government to act quickly and provide the NBN with the funding it needs to make this happen.”