Almost a quarter of European households have given up fixed landlines for mobile phones and online calling, according to a European Union survey.
The poll, carried out in November and December, found that 24 per cent of European households now eschew fixed landlines in favour of mobile phones, up from 22 per cent in a survey two years earlier.
The Czech Republic, Finland and Lithuania had the lowest number of landlines in use across the 27-nation bloc.
The results chime with the growing interest in the use of mobile VoIP services – either via GSM/GPRS wireless standards or through WiFi – and the widespread installation of internet calling software on smartphones.
The EU survey – which questioned 26,730 people – also found that 22 per cent are now using their personal computers for phone calls or video chatting via programs such as Skype.
That is a rise of 5 percentage points from the last poll.
The survey said the bloc’s newer members, most of them in eastern Europe, were leading the trend in a shift to online calling.
In Lithuania, 61 per cent of the households were using Internet phone services.