Australians are moving from fixed lines to mobile phones en masse, but using a mobile phone over a WiFi network is still a pipedream for many.While plenty of Australians are ditching landlines in favour of mobile solutions, we're still some way off having any kind of seamless single communications service, despite those models emerging overseas.
The findings are contained in an Australian Communications and Media Authority report released today, entitled "Fixed-Mobile Convergence and Fixed-Mobile Substitution in Australia".
Not unsurprisingly, youth markets lead the way in mobile only services (what the ACMA refers to as "straight to mobile" users, as many have never had a fixed line service), but there's also growth in consumers "cutting the cord" by ditching fixed landlines.
Even those who retain a landline are often using the mobile alternative even when a fixed line is available, according to the report. Between 2005 and 2007, the number of mobile minutes increased by 48 per cent while fixed minutes decreased by 10 per cent over the same period.
What's not happening in Australia -- and may not for some time -- is a seamless service that allows switching from mobile to, say, WiFi networks seamlessly and from the same connection number.
While there is some convergence with carriers offering bundled fixed/mobile packages, the ACMA expects that we'll have to wait for an upgrade in network connectivity, and the growth of pure IP-based telephony networks for this to become a reality for Australian consumers, something that's not likely in the short term at least.
The full report is available at the ACMA Web site.