Australia the pricey country for mobile broadband: OECD

An OECD report released this week found that Australians pay a lot for mobile broadband

Mobile broadband users in Australia pay more than in any other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country according to a new report released by the organisation.

The report measured mobile broadband usage in three brackets: high use, medium use and low use.

A high-use mobile broadband service offering 6-20GB per month costs Australians an average of $US62.30 a month. This is more than three times the price of similar connections in Ireland and about 40 per cent higher than the average cost of $US44.

Medium level users (2-6GB per month) also pay a premium in Australia, forking out $US43 a month along with Norway when the average monthly price is $US33 and people in Sweden only pay $US11 a month.

The picture evens up a little for low use mobile broadband (20MB-1GB) where Australians pay $US26.85 per month, only slightly more than the $US25 average. The figures were all taken in August 2008.

The data for mobile broadband was gathered from a survey of 82 offers from 16 operators in eight countries in September last year.

The cost of other broadband services is also comparatively high in Australia. The price of the surveyed cable in Australia rose the most over three years at roughly 14 per cent, although speeds and data caps also increased at the same time.

As of September 2008, Australia is the fourth most expensive country out of all 30 member countries for low speed connections (256-2048kbps) that cost just under $US40 per person when the average is $US32.

Australia is the fifth most expensive country for medium broadband speeds (2500-10,000kbps) that cost just under $US60 when the average price is $US43.

While the average price for high-speed connections (12,000-32,000Mbps) is $US53 per month Australians pay just over $US60.

Overall, Australia, Iceland and Switzerland generate the highest levels of revenue per capita for the telecommunications companies. This is calculated through looking at all access paths: telephone lines, ISDN lines, mobile subscribers, DSL, Cable broadband, fibre and other broadband.

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Dahna McConnachie

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