Mobile devices are leading a generational change in Australian communications according to the latest figures from Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA).
While it might seem like a small percentage – 12% of Australians have neither fixed-line telephone nor fixed internet in their homes – the bulk of the numbers come from the under 35 year olds.
Not surprisingly, 22% of the 25-34 year old age group are exclusively using mobile which makes them the largest user demographic, closely followed by the 18-24 age group with 16%.
And the numbers are growing: In four years, from 2010 to 2014, the number of mobile-only phone users has more than doubled, growing from 2.2 million to 5.2 million of Australians who did not have a fixed-line telephone in their home and completely relied on a mobile phone for voice services.
An indication of how the personal communication devices and habits have become integral to work and business activity can be seen in the range of reasons mobile phone owners are accessing the internet. General communication is obviously driving usage, along with entertainment and social networking but right up there in the number two spot is online banking usage. If users are becoming more comfortable trusting their phones to perform their core financial transactions then it will be a short step before businesses become largely reliant on mobile devices for all financial exchanges.
Perhaps one of the curious bits of information to be gleaned from the ACMA’s latest report is that more than 90% of people experiencing homelessness have a mobile phone. And of this group, more than 70% have a smart phone! It seems that if you are to remain connected to society even at the outer margins, struggling with shelter or finances, you still need a mobile phone.
Could you live without your mobile?
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