Monday, 21 May 2018 12:17

Aussies spend big bucks on mobile Featured

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Aussies spend big bucks on mobile Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australians pay on average $44 per month each for their mobile phone plans, representing a whopping total for all mobile users of $770 million a month — or $9 billion a year — to stay connected.

And, according to comparison website finder.com.au, its survey of 2085 people found that the $44 per month average was down from $48 a year ago, and that a quarter (26%) of smartphone users were on a phone and plan bundle contract, down from 36% on bundles in 2017.

Alex Kidman, technology and telecommunications editor at finder, says going “BYO phone” is at a high.

“These days we’re hanging onto the same phone for much longer. While there will always be those who refresh regularly, or who have to have the latest and greatest phone, many of us are happy hanging onto an older model.

“Back in the day, new handsets were quite pricey, and unless you had a bit of cash, bundles were the only way to get the newest phone.”

Kidman says the research shows 74% BYO phone, with 40% on a post-paid SIM-only plan and 34% on pre-paid. This is compared to 64% who were on SIM-only plans in 2017, with a split of 30% on postpaid and 34% on prepaid.

“While flagship phones are still over $1000, there’s an ever-expanding range of affordable handsets that can be purchased upfront,” he says.

“Competition is fierce among telcos and mobile plan pricing is changing so quickly that being tied down for 24 months isn’t your best bet if you want to save.

“Plan hopping takes a little more time, but if you want to limit your mobile spending, it does work.

“If you’ve finished repaying your handset but you’re happy to hold onto to that phone, it’s definitely time to switch plans at the very least. The deal you were on two years ago will be much cheaper today."

He says the average pre-paid subscription is $31 per month — less than half that of a bundle contract which is at $65 — and Generation Y spends the most on phone plans, shelling out $52, compared to $36 for Baby Boomers.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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