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Mobile phones erode landline use

Calls account for more than one third of talk time


A close-up of a young woman using her mobile phone.

The growth of mobile phone ownership is continuing to erode landline use, a report out today says.

Nearly one in 10 (9 per cent) of UK households rely solely on mobiles compared to 7 per cent which only have a landline.

For the first time, calls from mobiles account for more than one third of time spent on phone calls in the UK, according to telecoms regulator Ofcom.

Mobile phone call minutes hit 82 billion last year compared to total overall call minutes at 234 billion.

The bulk of UK households have both landlines and mobile phones, according to Ofcom’s UK Communications Market 2007 report.

Mobile phone connections in the UK last year stood at 69.7 million – more than double the amount of landline connections at 33.6 million.

Competing tariffs

The number of mobile phone subscriptions continued to rise during 2006 as more people used secondary handsets such as BlackBerrys for work or took advantage of competing tariffs from different firms.

Fixed line subscriptions fell from 34.1 million in 2005 to 33.6 million last year, continuing the gradual decline from 35.2 million in 2002.

Ofcom spokesman Peter Phillips said: ‘There are more households which are now mobile-only in terms of their phone. The first quarter of 2007 is the first time that has happened.’

More than half (53 per cent) of 8- to 15-year-olds use a mobile phone compared to 50 per cent in 2005.


The average monthly cost of all telecoms – including landlines, mobiles, texts and broadband – fell to £69.85 per residential customer last year from £76.36 the previous year.

Prices have dropped by nearly £35 per month on average since 2002 due to intense competition between phone companies.

BT continues to be the largest UK telecoms provider with an estimated 2006 turnover of £17.2 billion accounting for 37 per cent of the total market turnover, Ofcom’s report says.

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