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Thursday, 15 December 2011 14:01

Businesses beware of mobile disrupters

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According to the ACMA, the growing popularity of smartphones and mobile applications has the potential to disrupt existing business models by allowing consumers to bypass established service providers.

"Examples of this scenario include the development of VoIP applications for mobile handsets and the provision of free mobile messaging applications," it says.

ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, said: "The mobile phone is a fully fledged participant in the digital economy, as it is becoming a converged device that more and more consumers use to access functions other than just voice. Internet access has become an integral feature of the mobile phone, and this has been complemented by the development of an array of mobile applications - which allow users access to specific services at the touch of a screen."

According to the ACMA's report 'The emerging mobile telecommunications service market in Australia', during June 2011 1.55 million Australian used social networking services via their mobiles; 751,000 used banking and bill payment services; 555,000 streamed videos or movies; 304,000 streamed audio content; 274,000 used a VoIP service via their mobile and 100,000 purchased a good or service online.

The ACMA says: "The growth in popularity of mobile applications in Australia is reflected in the increase in the number of people accessing services online via their mobile handsets. During June 2011, 3.9 million Australians aged 14 years and over went online via their mobile phone compared to 2.4 million during June 2010, a 63per cent increase."

The report is the last of three, the others being 'E-commerce marketplace in Australia: Online shopping', released 16 November, and 'Converging communications channels: Preferences and behaviours of Australian communications users', released 8 December. They complement the ACMA's statutory 'Communications Report 2010-11, released on 12 December.

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