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Cost of mobile broadband up to 1333 times fixed services

The growing price gap between fixed and mobile broadband is emerging as a major telecommunications issue according to Market Clarity, which claims that mobile broadband can now be as much as 1333 times more expensive than fixed broadband on a per GB basis.

The figure, from the analyst firm's Cost of Mobility report is in a large part due to the introduction of Terabyte per month plans in 2010.

"Based on the current tariffs from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Hutchison Three, Market Clarity's analysis has found that on a per GB basis, mobile broadband can be as much as 1,333 times moire expensive than fixed broadband) when comparing the lowest price per GB available for fixed broadband plans with the highest price per GB charged for mobile broadband plans)," the report reads.

In its analysis of mobile broadband pricing the report found a large price differential -- as much as 5.8 times higher -- between contract and pre-paid prices.

The minimum price per GB on 12-24 month post-paid contracts was $1.66, while the median price was $5.27 and maximum was $24.88.

The minimum price per GB on pre-paid mobile broadband was $9.67 per GB, the median $16.67 per GB and maximum was $80.00.

"The gap between pre- and post-paid mobile is trivial when compared to the gap between fixed and mobile broadband," the report reads.

"In particular the cheapest mobile broadband Gigabyte compared yo the cheapest fixed broadband Gigabyte, shows a considerable gap."

Indeed, the minimum cost per GB for fixed ADSL broadband amounted to just $0.06, while the median price was $0.30, and maximum price was $9.98.

This minimum price amounted to a multiplier of 27.7 when compared to post paid mobile broadband and 161.1 when compared to pre-paid mobile broadband.

The maximum price amounted to a multiplier of 2.5 for when compared to post paid mobile broadband and 8.0 when compared to pre-paid mobile broadband.

The report also notes that network operators will continue to come under pressure from shareholders to reduce tariffs while increasing speeds and data allowances in the face of declining fixed broadband costs and growing allowances.

A clear sign of the need for faster mobile broadband can be seen in today's announcement that Telstra is on track to commercially launch Long Term Evolutionary (LTE) --based services by the year's end.Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @Tlohman

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU


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