According to a recent study carried out by a leading Australian mobile marketing company, Australian mobile phone users are becoming increasingly more aware of a wider range of mobile products and services.

The study by m.Net Corporation found that 97 per cent of Australians surveyed used their mobile phone for more than just voice. Of these respondents, 61 per cent had used information type services in the last full month, 57 per cent had used entertainment type services, 99 per cent had used communication type services and 31 per cent had used their mobile phone to make a purchase like movie tickets.

In addition to this, the survey found that there was an increase in the take-up of mobile-based email, video, chat, financial information and social networking.

Dr Marisa Maio Mackay, m.Net research director, commented “what we’re seeing is a greater reliance on mobile phones as the platform for a broad range of data services. Over half the survey group owned a 3G or 3.5G phone and over 70 per cent said they used a service other than simple communications like texting or MMS.”

Dr Maio Mackay also emphasized that trends are showing a reduction in services like ringtones and wallpapers.

“There’s been a drop off in the use of “comfort services” like ringtones and wallpapers, with Australians instead being much more willing to pay for access to mobile data, reflecting the increased value they place on these services,” Dr Maio Mackay explained.

Other key findings to come out of the survey include a 50 per cent growth in mobile access to social networking and a 60 per cent jump in access to financial data.

The results also demonstrated that Australians are starting to recognize the benefits of mobile services in their everyday life, with 41 per cent of respondents interested in mobile banking, 44 per cent interested in the ability to pay for things with their mobile phone and 31 per cent of respondents were interested in using community sites.

Despite the huge increase in Australia’s mobile phone services usage, Dr Maio Mackay emphasized that we are still behind other nations like the US.

“Americans are far more intense and active users than Australians and have really embraced mobile data services in the past few years, partly thanks to ‘all you can use’ fixed pricing plans and the resolution of early network issues,” said Dr Maio Mackay.

“While Australians have transitioned from a small group of high level users to a medium group of medium level users over many years, the American market has gone from a small group of high level users to a large group of high level users in just a few years,” she said.