Expert says tablets and smartphones will make NBN out of date

Expert says tablets and smart phones will make NBN out of date

Broadband cables

National Broadband Network fibre-optic cables are being installed, but social analyst David Chalke says everything will be wireless by the time the network is finished. Source: AdelaideNow

  • 71 per cent of Australians use laptop, tablet or smartphone
  • Expert says most internet is mobile
  • But NBN says video still does “heavy lifting”

THE rise of mobile internet through smart phones and tablets threatens to make the national broadband network a waste of money, a prominent social analyst says.

Speaking in Adelaide about the latest Australia SCAN social trend survey, Quantum Market Research’s David Chalke said NBN Co was “missing the boat”.

“Everything is going to be wireless by the time they’ve dug up the roads and stuffed the pipes,” he said.

“It will be too late, it’s all going to be mobile and wireless in the future.”

A survey of 2000 Australians, performed every year for the past two decades, revealed desktop computers were dying out. Most people (71 per cent) had a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

“The lion is uncaged,” he said. “It was chained to the desktop, no more. The future is all about mobility. `I’ll do it wherever I want, whenever I want, however I want, on a 4 1/2 inch screen’.”

But an NBN Co spokeswoman said it was the demand for data-rich video that was driving the fibreoptic network.

“People want the convenience of wireless technologies so they can use their iPads and laptops in more places, but fixed networks continue to do the `heavy lifting’ of broadband data use,” she said.

“As we move to a time where really data-heavy applications like video become more prevalent, there will be an increasing need for fixed connections like the NBN.”

She said it was also important to recognise that when people use iPads or smartphones in WiFi mode, they are using a wireless connection to a fixed network.

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