Nielsen has announced that Australian’s use of mobile to access news sites has soared with overall traffic increasing by 19% in August 2010.

Nielsen’s Mobile Market Intelligence, which measures mobile website traffic, witnessed the greatest increase of mobile traffic on the Nine News site (ninemsn.com), with a daily average of around 21,113 unique browsers during August 2010, up 27% from July 2010.

Traffic on Sydney Morning Herald and The Age mobile sites was up 21% and 18% respectively, while news.com.au traffic increased by 18%.

“The increasing ownership of smartphones and more affordable mobile data pricing plans have seen mobile Internet usage increase in recent months,” said Matt Bruce, managing director of Nielsen’s online division in Australia.

“This growth was given an extra jolt in August as Australians looked to mobile news sites via their mobile phones for updates on the election results and, specifically during the disclosure of the election results.”

Spikes in traffic were most prominent on 21 and 22 August 2010 (the day of, and day after, the election) and again on 7 September 2010 (the day of the release of official election results).