More and more mobile phones are in use in Australia and are having a pervasive impact on Australian society. Because of this, there is a general and growing interest in industry, academia and government in the social impact of mobile phones usage on the people and institutions of Australia—from public policy, economic and social impact viewpoints. The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) have produced a research strategy to assess the social impact of mobile phones on Australian society and institutions.
The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts considered it would be useful to complement this research, and other research under discussion in the area, by providing a preliminary scan of the available data and information on mobile phone usage in Australia and internationally. This preliminary review has focused mainly on information on the pattern of Australian mobile phones usage obtained from major public sources. This is because an understanding of this data is a prerequisite for the other areas of research, and because a fair amount of data is available.