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ACCC starts breaking out Vodafone NBN customer connections

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(Image: ACCC)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has provided some insight into what technologies customers on Vodafone are using to connect to the National Broadband Network.

The latest Wholesale Market Indicators Report to the end of March shows Vodafone has just under 17,000 fibre-to-the-premises customers, 2,650 on fibre-to-the-basement, and just over 10,000 on hybrid coaxial-fibre.

For fibre-to-the-node, Vodafone Australia numbers were lumped into the Other category, which sits at just over 2% of all customers at 54,000.

In its latest yearly earnings, Vodafone disclosed having 33,000 NBN customers.

Overall, more than half of all NBN customers are now on a 50Mbps plan, after the network crossed the threshold of having a majority of customers on 50Mbps and 100Mbps plans last quarter.

Between the December and March quarters, over 166,000 people moved off 12/1Mbps plans with the total dipping just below 1 million, while 220,000 more have 25/5Mbps plans taking the total to 1.14 million, and 336,000 premises now have 50Mbps plans that puts the most popular plan at 2.62 million customers.

“Although the number of consumers on [12Mbps] plans has dropped, they still account for a significant number of NBN users,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“We would be concerned if the options to acquire entry level plans declined, either through availability or higher prices. Indeed, we continue to have concerns about the impact of NBN pricing changes on affordability of entry level plans for those consumers who only require a basic service.”

According to the ACCC, Telstra holds 49.2% of the NBN market, TPG has 21.6%, Optus is on 14.2%, while Vocus sits on 8.3%, and the others category is 6.8%.

Earlier this month, TPG continued its run of taking out the top spot in the ACCC’s speed-monitoring report.

Behind TPG were Aussie Broadband, Optus, Exetel, TPG-owned iiNet, Telstra, and MyRepublic.

The ACCC also recently announced it was opposing the prospective merger between TPG and Vodafone Australia.

The consumer watchdog said it believed the merger would substantially lessen competition, and that TPG had the commercial incentive to roll out a mobile network.

“TPG is the best prospect Australia has for a new mobile network operator to enter the market, and this is likely the last chance we have for stronger competition in the supply of mobile services,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“Wherever possible, market structures should be settled by the competitive process, not by a merger which results in a market structure that would be subject to little challenge in the future. This is particularly the case in concentrated sectors, such as mobile services in Australia.”

In explaining its decision, the ACCC pointed to Australia’s concentrated mobile services market, with the three network operators, Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, boasting over 87% market share. Similarly, it said the fixed broadband market is concentrated, with Telstra, TPG, and Optus having approximately 85% share.

The announcement was posted earlier than was intended on the ACCC site, with the Commission pointing the finger at its content management system.

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Australia has 24.3m active retail mobile services: ACCC

Although 91% of the total volume of data downloaded is through fixed-line and wired connections.

ACCC questions fairness of NBN basic pricing

With the gap between basic 12Mbps plans and 50Mbps plans closing, the ACCC questions the fairness of NBN plans compared to existing ADSL plans.

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iPhone 14 May Debut In An Online-Only Event With Pro Price Hike

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The iPhone 14 will bring plenty of changes this year, but most of them are apparently being reserved for the Pro models. The base models are also expected to feature a big change, but not one that some people will like — Apple may finally say goodbye to the 5.4-inch iPhone mini and go in the opposite direction by introducing a non-Pro iPhone Max. While that would be a tragedy for those who love small iPhones, it would also consolidate Apple’s smartphone collection and make it easier for buyers to understand what’s available.

The next-generation iPhone lineup will reportedly have two 6.1-inch models and two 6.7-inch models split between base and Pro lines. While there will be some upgrades across the board, the biggest changes will no doubt be seen on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The most visible will be — at least according to the rumors so far — the switch to a pill-shaped cutout, which would mean finally ditching the bucket notch that debuted with the iPhone X in 2017. New and improved cameras will likely be found inside the iPhone 14 Pro models, too, as well as a faster processor.

These upgrades won’t come without costs, however, and Apple may have buyers shoulder some of that. An investor note shared by Philip Elmer-DeWitt claims the Pro models will experience a $100 price increase. The current iPhone 13 Pro already starts at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max begins at $1,099, so that would be quite a significant price hike. Apple is also expected to increase the storage in these iPhone models to make those figures easier to swallow, but it may still cause some interested buyers to pause when deciding which of the four iPhone 14 models to pick.

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Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept Teases Electric Muscle Cars To Come

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Three patented new features help give the Daytona SRT an edge. The e-Rupt multi-speed transmission system offers an “electro-mechanical shifting experience that’s pure Dodge,” the automaker says. The new transmission has a PowerShot boost system similar to the one included in the hybrid versions of the upcoming Dodge Hornet. Press a button on the steering wheel and you’ll get a bit of extra horsepower and some torque along with it — it’s for those occasions when you need to power past something on a highway, or if you need to take off from a standing start fast enough to tear a small hole in the fabric of time and space.

There’s a new aerodynamic pass-through feature named the “R-Wing” that gives the concept a performance edge while connecting it with its NASCAR record-breaking ancestor. Then, for muscle car enthusiasts who are upset the switch to electric may preserve someone in their vicinity’s eardrums, there’s the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust. It’s an industry first, and as loud as a Hellcat at 127 decibels, so even though you’re being powered by a battery, people will still hear your muscle car coming. The system is a patented industry-first feature. Sound is produced electronically before being forced through an amplifier and “tuning chamber.” It is then blasted out of the car’s back end, recreating the muscle car audio experience without any of the emissions.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT is just a concept, so while you may be impressed by the noise both Dodge and its car are making, you won’t actually be able to buy one. However, there’s a good chance most — if not all — of its features will appear in Dodge’s first commercially released EV, which is scheduled to arrive in 2024.

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The Reason Why Lamborghini Will Never Build A Manual Transmission Car Again

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By January 2014, very few Gallardos were ordered with a manual gearbox — so few, in fact, that AutoGuide quoted company CEO Stephan Winkelmann as saying that the automaker’s team would have to double-check with the dealership from which the order was received to make sure the manual transmission request wasn’t an error.

Besides the lack of demand for cars with a manual transmission, Lamborghini’s advanced driving tech starting with the Huracán also warranted complete control over the vehicle, and the manual use of a clutch could potentially cause disharmony. In 2016, Reggiani said in an interview with Road & Track that engaging the clutch “creates a hole in the communication between what the engine is able to provide and how the car reacts to the power of the engine.”

The executive also said during the interview that even though the decision to drop the manual transmission option wasn’t easy, the automatic chassis control systems on newer Lambos meant there wasn’t really any other option. “If you want to control the power, the clutch must be under the control of the brain of the car, not your brain,” Reggiani said.

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