Mobile phones and high-speed wireless internet are on the way up in European households.
The use of communication services has evolved significantly over the past few years, with growth largest in those countries that had fully implemented regulations in force since 2002 on electronic communications, according to a special Eurobarometer report and three other studies published on 25 August 2006 in the context of the review of the 2002 rules.
The survey of 25,000 representative households finds that the number of broadband lines has quadrupled in the last three years, with one in four homes now connected to the internet via such high-speed links. The Netherlands already has a household penetration rate of 62%, catching up with world broadband leader South Korea.
Furthermore, 27% of households with internet have a wifi router. Such new wireless technologies are growing because they represent a cheaper solution for more isolated regions, as they are able to deliver broadband to areas with no fixed-line networks.
The study also finds that mobile telephony has now overtaken fixed telephony, with 80% of EU25 households having access to a mobile phone against 78% with a fixed line. Indeed, nearly one in five households no longer bothers with a fixed phone line, choosing to own only a mobile phone. The proportion climbs to 58% for the 15-29 years age group but falls to 6% for people aged over 60.