It now seems Australia is on the verge of following the same path, with the ABS reporting that as at 31 December 2011, 47% of internet connections in Australia were via mobile devices.
The report, (8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, Dec 2011), has some other interesting findings as well...
- The number of internet connections grew by 11.0% in the year to 31 December, and by 6.3% since the end of June 2011.
- Mobile wireless grew fastest, with a 14.7% increase since the end of June 2011.
- The number of dial-up connections continued to decline, to 475,000 - still a substantial number, but representing only 4% of the total 11,596,000 internet connections in Australia. Of those 379,000 (3.2%) were households, the rest businesses.
- The number of dial-up connections declined 17.9% (from 579,000 to 475,000) since June 2011.
Note the ABS state the decline was 16.7% - I don't know why our calculated figures differ.
- More Australians remain on connection speeds less than 8Mbps (55%), however a good proportion are on 8-24Mbps (34.3%). Only 0.3% are on connections greater than 100Mbps.
- The total data downloaded was 345,518 Terabytes (or 345,518,000 Gigiabytes) for the three months ending 31 December 2011. This was an increase of 26% since June 2011 (remember the number of connections only grew by 6.3% so we're all downloading more).
- The average downloaded per connection was 29.8 Gigabytes (Gb) for the three months so, on average, we download 10Gb per month.
- However dial-up users only downloaded, on average, 67 Megabytes (Mb) of data per month, while broadband users downloaded an average of 10.3 Gb of data - showing a massive difference in usage.
- There were 91 ISPs in Australia with more than 1,000 subscribers - remaining a competitively very robust market.
There is a clear paradigm shift for users when upgrading to dial-up to broadband, with usage increasing by over 15,000%.
This representing a change from email and basic web browsing to the use of the internet as a multi-media interactive entertainment, engagement and service delivery environment.
It will be interesting to see the the paradigm shift in usage from users on fixed internet connections to mobile. I believe this is even greater as the services relevant to mobile users are very different to those relevant to static users.
Perhaps we can take another lead from Japan on this, based on the use of mobile internet during and following their recent tsumani.
Or learn from these five cities benefiting from mobile apps.