Tuesday, 18 September 2012 08:23

Most Australians unaware of mobile phone tariff hikes Featured

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A new survey shows that many people have no idea that they are now paying more for data they access via their mobile devices following mobile phone tariff price hikes by the network providers.

The survey also shows that despite the availability of new mobile devices, many Australians plan on keeping their current handsets longer, and will be shopping around for a better deal in the next six months.

The survey was commissioned by Australian mobile operator Live Connected and was conducted earlier this month. Over 1000 mobile phone owners were surveyed online about mobile phone billing, their loyalty towards their current provider and how long they plan to keep their current handsets. Key findings:

  • More than three quarters of Australians are unaware that the major mobile network providers have reduced their data allowances, and therefore effectively bumped up their data prices in recent weeks.
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents say they are unlikely to leave their current provider, with most either unsure (29 percent) or looking for a better deal (25 percent).
  • Despite the availability of a many new mobile devices in the market, more than half (60 percent) of respondents plan on extending the life of their current handsets beyond their existing two year contract. A further 27 percent plan on extending the life of their phone by giving it to a friend or family member after their contract expires..

“It’s surprising that so many people have no idea how much more they are now paying for their data allowance, especially at a time when accessing online content via mobile devices is increasingly the norm,” said Roshan Mahanama, founder of Live Connected.

According to Mahanama, the average monthly data cost has increased by around $10 across most plans. These changes came into effect at the start of the new 2013 financial year, but despite a significant lack of related consumer awareness the survey shows that many Australians are already preparing to shop around to see if they can get a better deal elsewhere.

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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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