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Aussie Consumers Embrace Mobile Age As Prices Tumble

SYDNEY: Mobile consumers fared better during 2019-20, successfully meeting the significant challenges posed by Covid-19, according to a report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

ACCC’s latest annual Communications Market Report shows that mobile prices fell by 17 percent during 2019-20, entirely due to a reduction in the price of entry-level plans and significant growth in data allowances and other inclusions.

However, NBN broadband prices fell marginally by just two percent over the same period, with an increase in the price of entry-level plans moderating the positive effect of higher plan inclusions.

“The growth in data allowances for mobile services means consumers received better value from their mobile plans,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said. But he added: “Whether this trend continues into 2021 will depend on how strongly mobile operators compete for new customers.”

While the total volume of data carried over broadband networks continues to grow strongly, fixed broadband still accounts for around 90 percent of total downloads.

Australians also continue to favour their mobile phones for voice services, with fixed-line call minutes down by 15 percent from 2018-19. Since 2015-16, fixed-line voice call minutes have decreased by 50 percent, while mobile voice call minutes have risen by 18 percent.

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