The availability of mobile broadband services led to a $33.8 billion increase in economic activity in Australia last year, contributing 2.28 per cent to our total gross domestic product (GDP).\nThis was a key finding of research commissioned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on the economic impacts of mobile broadband on the Australian economy from 2006 to 2013. The research was conducted by the Centre for International Economics.\nMobile broadband increased the growth rate of the Australian economy by 0.28 per cent each year from 2007 to 2013. The actual growth over this period was 2.9 per cent per year, indicating that mobile broadband contributed a substantial part of economic growth through productivity improvements, the report said.\nProductivity growth from mobile communications sector led to an increase of $7.3 billion in Australia\u2019s GDP, the report claimed.\nBusinesses reported, on average, that mobile broadband had reduced business costs by 1.4 per cent. It ranked as an issue of similar importance to a more efficient taxation system and less government regulation, the report said.\nSectors citing the largest impacts from mobile broadband included electricity, gas, water and waste services, transport, postal and warehousing, administrative and support functions, and financial and insurance services.\nThe report also highlighted that the allocation of spectrum could potentially restrain or reduce the future economic value of mobile broadband.\nACMA chairman Chris Chapman, said the government has taken \u201ctough decisions\u201d to make available more spectrum for mobile broadband services.\nThe ACMA recently finalised auctions for spectrum in the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands. Optus, Telstra and TPG Internet purchased spectrum in this auction for a combined priced of almost $2 billion.\n\u201cFrom the start of 2015, the digital dividend spectrum will underpin the mobile broadband industry\u2019s growth, [providing] faster download speeds and contributing to productivity in years to come,\u201d said Chapman.\nIn a statement issued in response to the report, Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association CEO Chris Althaus said that his organisation believes that "to maximise the benefits of mobility in a digital economy it is vital that industry has access to adequate spectrum to ensure that mobile network operators have capacity to meet consumer demand for faster speed and bandwidth-hungry mobile data applications and services."\nThe ACMA report also said mobile data use would grow annually by 38 per cent from an estimated monthly average of 22.2PB in 2013 to 81.1PB in 2017.\n4G data traffic is expected to increase by 76 per cent annually between 2013 and 2017, the report said.