iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus Connectivity Boosts Economy to $33.8 Billion

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By Athena Yenko | April 4, 2014 2:35 PM EST

Mundane activities - selfie, tweets, Instagram, Candy Crush etc - done with dongles, tablets, data cards and smartphones connected to the internet boost up the country's economy to $33.8 billion in 2013.

This is according to a recent report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority titled: The economic impacts of mobile broadband on the Australian economy, from 2006 to 2013.

The $33.8 billion - 2.28 per cent allocation to total GDP - brought $652 more cash in the pocket of Australians, according to the report. Of the $33.8 billion, $26.5 billion was from time savings for businesses that rely on mobile broadband.

"This research shows that Australians have actually reaped the rewards of wireless communication for many years," ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said.

Essentially, the report highlighted three important activities in the mobile industry which contributed significantly to the economy.

One is that all activities made with mobile devices connected to the internet increased by 11.3 per cent yearly in the span of 2006 to 2013.

Mobile broadband also reduced business operating costs as seen from the 25 per cent businesses surveyed for the report.

Lastly, the large demand for mobile devices in the Australian market led to a large competition among network providers. Hence, broadband became more affordable to beat competition. The average cost of mobile broadband diminishes year per year from 2006-2013.

"It's been reasonably trite to say of late that whether you're videoconferencing on the go or chatting with friends on the evening commute, mobile broadband helps people everywhere to stay connected.

We know that mobile broadband services and technologies enrich our work and private lives on a daily basis, in ways that were unheard of a decade ago. But with this groundbreaking research, we now see the real dollar value of these daily connections," Mr Chapman said.

In his personal blog, Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull said that the report highlighted that broadband is essential to the country's economic growth. With this, Mr Malcolm said that the "rapid rollout" of 4G network will led to a greater boost to the economy.

However, Mr Turnbull noted that fluctuating cost of internet connection is an important aspect neglected during NBN debates.

He said that inconsistent prices of broadband caused an "average user in 2013 to spend 20 per cent less per connected device than they did in 2007."

And for the economic growth to continue even with consumers paying less and less for mobile broadband, Mr Turnbull said that the government should arrived at "good public policy".

"But good public policy can bring us closer to the frontier, by repealing unnecessary regulation, removing distorting or poorly designed tariffs and taxes, sharpening incentives and opening markets up to competition," Mr Turnbull wrote.

But the government faces hurdles in arriving at comprehensive broadband policy as most mobile operators call for less Government intrusion in as far as investment in technology is concern.

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