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Europeans are Abandoning Landlines

by on Jul.02, 2008, under Telecoms

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In its annual “E-Communications Household Survey”, the European Commission highlights trends in telecommunications within the European Union (EU). The report provides a snapshot of a continent in transition, but contains few surprises.

The report, (2.78 MB) released Jun. 27, show some marked differences between the old EU states and the newer members. With the newer states, leapfrogging landline technologies to mobile ones, a pattern often found in developing economies.

The survey of 27,000 households was carried out between Nov. 9 and Dec. 14, 2007.

Telephone Access

Ninety-five percent of European households have access to a telephone. In Luxembourg, Holland, Sweden and Cyprus, 100 percent of households now have at least one telephone. In Romania, only 80 percent have. The number of households in Poland with at least one telephone has increased by seven points in the last 12 months to 95 percent.

In the last year, the number of European households with a fixed telephone line has continued to fall. Overall, there has been a decline of two points to 70 percent. Rates have fallen particularly strongly in Portugal (-14 points), the Czech Republic (-10), Denmark (-9), Lithuania, Finland (both -8), Bulgaria and Spain (both -7).

At the same time, there has been a rapid increase in mobile phone access. Nearly a quarter of European households now only use a mobile phone. This rate is markedly higher in the new member states (39 percent) than in the 15 old member states (20 percent). In the Czech Republic 64 percent of households, use a mobile phone only at home.

Computers and the Internet

A majority of European households (53 percent) now have access to a computer. Nearly half (49 percent) have access to internet at home, an increase of seven points. Access via broadband has increased by eight points over the last year to 36 percent.

Of those with no access to the internet, half gave lack of interest as the reason.

The share of households with a wi-fi modems and routers has increased in the last year by eight percent. Twenty-two percent of European households now connect to the internet wirelessly.

The use of the internet to make phone calls is becoming popular within the EU. Twenty-two percent of Europeans who have an Internet connection at home say that someone in their household uses the internet to make phone calls, an increase of five points on previous year.

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