SYDNEY – Australians’ increasing desire to be constantly connected and continuously consuming is leading to data-plan blowouts, hidden costs and more people switching operators, according to a new Deloitte report.

Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey 2017 has calculated that Australians look at their mobile phone screens no less than 560 million times a day, equating to more than 35 glances a day by each Aussie old enough to have a mobile.

“Bigger data plans and increasingly available free Wi-Fi hotspots are facilitating our connected way of life, although not sufficiently according to our research,” according to Deloitte executive Jeremy Drumm.

“The number of people streaming content and watching live TV on phones has tripled since 2016, with 25pc of 18-34 year olds watching live TV on their smartphones weekly.”

But he said this trend does have a knock-on effect, with 43pc of Australians “fairly often” or “very often exceeding monthly data limits. The survey highlighted that those on 3-5GB plans are twice as likely to exceed their limits as those with 500MB or less of data.

The survey also found that smartphones are becoming an invaluable workplace tool, with 67pc of respondents consistently using their phone for work. And no fewer than 26pc often use their phone for business purposes outside normal work hours.

To the surprise of some, Drumm sees this not as an undesirable situation but “a huge opportunity to optimise mobile for basic work tasks that can be undertaken on the move and transform the way we work.”

Ahem. That’s a transformation that at least some of use can do without. – DF