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Optus CEO Claims Consumers May Ditch NBN For Mobile

Optus CEO Claims Consumers May Ditch NBN For Mobile

Australians could increasingly turn to mobile broadband options rather than the NBN for home internet connections according to Optus CEO Allen Lew.

In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Lew said consumers might see mobile technology as providing more value depending on what they are willing to pay, as well as what their speed and reliability requirements are.

“Today in Australia there is already about 20 to 25 per cent of homes that do not have a fixed line going to their homes and with the next generation antenna technologies that we have deployed, we can deliver up to one-gig speeds… so it is really up to customers now to decide whether they want a home wireless broadband solution, a wireless dongle, or a fixed-line service,” Lew told the AFR.

The news follows a $1 billion investment in regional and remote mobile coverage by Optus last week, putting the telco in a stronger position against Telstra, as well as the expanding offerings of Vodafone and TPG.

Problems with the NBN rollout, including issues with connecting to the network as well as potentially misleading speed claims, could further increase the popularity of mobile internet options.

While telcos like Optus offer data-free streaming of certain content, in many cases current data limits and plan costs are not in line with the requirements of users.

Lew expects this will improve in the future as network costs continue to decrease and technology continues to improve.

“In our mobile networks the costs have been reducing year on year and even in our largest whole wireless broadband plans we have a significant number of gigs that people can use to stream video,” Lew said.

“Twenty per cent of the market today has already voted with their feet and gone to wireless networks, so it all depends on the remaining 80 per cent and how they perceive wireless.”

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