Thursday, 16 January 2014 04:47

Australia has highest wireless broadband penetration – OECD

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High usage of smartphones has Australia in first place globally for wireless broadband.

Wireless broadband penetration has grown to 68.4% in the OECD are, meaning there are now more than two wireless subscriptions for every three inhabitants. In Australia, penetration is over 100%.

Wireless broadband subscriptions in the 34-country group were up by 16.63% from a year earlier to a total of 851 million, driven by continuing strong demand for smartphones and tablets.

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) grouping comprises the world’s most developed economies. Six countries (Australia, Denmark, Finland, Korea, Japan and Sweden) now lie above the 100% penetration threshold.

Australia has edged into first place after a 13% surge in smartphone subscriptions in the first half of 2013.

Fixed wired broadband subscriptions in the OECD area reached 332 million as of June 2013, making an average penetration of 26.7%. Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark remained at the top of the table with 43.8%, 40.0% and 39.7% respectively.

ADSL is still the prevalent broadband connection technology, making up 52.69% of fixed broadband subscriptions, but it continues to be gradually replaced by fibre, which is now at 15.75% of subscriptions. Cable (30.91%) accounted for most of the remaining subscriptions.

Double-digit annual growth in fibre was sustained thanks to increases in large OECD economies with low penetration levels such as France (32% in six months), Spain (34%), Turkey (33%) and the UK (47%).

Japan and Korea remain the OECD leaders, with fibre making up 68.45% and 62.76% of fixed broadband connections.

Data and charts for the June 2013 broadband statistics are available at the OECD Broadband Portal at www.oecd.org/sti/ict/broadband. The portal now includes a webpage with links to national broadband maps in OECD countries.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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