European mobile voice to pass fixed next year

Fixed-mobile substitution continues apace in western Europe, says research firm Analysys.


'Despite falling fixed and mobile prices, overall spend on voice services is holding up well, as mobile users choose to make more expensive mobile calls instead of fixed calls,' says Dr Alastair Brydon, co-author of the report.


The report predicts at that the current rate more than half of all voice traffic in western Europe could originate on mobile phones by the end of 2008. 


Mobile voice usage already far exceeds that level in Austria, Finland and Portugal, Analysys says, noting that the percentage of households that are mobile-only in Finland is five times greater than in Sweden.


In early 2006 the proportion of total voice minutes that originated on mobile networks ranged from 18% to 70% across western Europe.


The key driver is price. However, co-author Mark Heath points out that some mobile operators have damaged their revenue by cutting prices too much.  "Very low pricing is not necessary and mobile operators can achieve significant traffic migration even with a healthy price premium over fixed services,' Heath said.

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