Europeans shun fixed line and go mobile

An increasing number of Europeans are not bothering to sign up for fixed telephone services in their homes, relying instead on cell phones for communication. This shift, seemingly unstoppable, is impacting the business landscape for the large incumbent telcos, such as Deutsche Telekom, which are experiencing falling revenues from fixed line services.

According to a European Commission study, cell phones first outnumbered humans in Europe in 2006 - and did so by an even greater margin last year, with nearly 112 handsets for every 100 European residents. About one-quarter of European Union households have a mobile phone only, the report said.

In less developed regions, such as Eastern Europe, households are more likely to opt for mobile subscription, bypassing the fixed line alternative completely. Some 39 per cent of households there have a mobile phone only, compared to one-fifth of homes in Western Europe.

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