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From $2B to $14B: a decade of consumer digitisation in Australia

From $2B to $14B: a decade of consumer digitisation in Australia

Internet connected devices in Australian homes grew from less than 35 million in 2010 to 193 million in 2020.

Credit: 27707

The noughties decade was a period of unprecedented change within Australia’s technology landscape, as the National Broadband Network (NBN), and emergence of online applications and entertainment helped digital goods and services boom seven-fold. 

This is according to a comprehensive study by industry analyst firm Telsyte, which claimed the value of the local digital goods and services market grew from $2.2 billion in 2010 to $14.4 billion in 2020. 

Described as the decade that gave the most rapid technological change in Australia’s history, the period saw the number of smartphones rise from 4.4 million in 2010 to 21.6 million in use as of last year. 

Published in the Telsyte Australian Digital Consumer Study 2021, the figures showed that the number of internet-connected devices in Australian homes grew by almost six-fold, from less than 35 million in 2010 to 193 million in 2020. 

According to the study, the NBN and mobile broadband, internet connectivity has vastly improved over the last decade and, claiming that more than 30 per cent of Australian homes are now on a 100Mbps or faster speed plan compared to 78 per cent that were on ADSL plans with average speeds less than 15Mbps.  

“The improved broadband speed plans enabled higher data usage with the average usage increasing by 793 per cent from 28 gigabytes monthly usage in 2010 to 250 gigabytes in 2020,” the report said. 

Meanwhile, the e-commerce market was worth $32.9 billion in 2020, almost triple in value from $11.5 billion in 2010. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 7 million Australians used online food delivery services and online grocery shopping – up 22 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively, from 2019. Telsyte claimed both will reach 8 million users by the end of 2021. 

“During uncertain times, it was technology and communication services that improved home and work life for most Australians,” Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said. 

As a result of the move to working from home during the pandemic, the average number of internet-connected devices in the home is on track to reach over 30 on average by the end of 2024, up from 19.7 at the end of 2020. Overall, the growth in connected home devices has been nearly 500 per cent since 2010. 

However, cyber security remains a big concern among Australians, with concerns growing due to the rapid adoption of connected technologies and the shift to digital lifestyles. Nearly 30 per cent of Australians experienced some form of cyber crime in 2020, including account hacks, phishing attempts, ransomware, identity theft and cyber bullying. 

Meanwhile, the analyst firm believes that Australian appetites for all-things digital will show no signs of slowing down as faster NBN and 5G connectivity become more prevalent. 

“More sophisticated AI adopted by services and applications that will help improve processes and provide a better digital experience,” Telsyte said. 


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