Irish are fourth fastest in Europe to ditch their landlines

12 Jul 2011

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Around one-third of Irish households (35pc) had moved to mobile phones only – making Irish households the fourth fastest in the EU to ditch landlines in favour of mobiles. Ireland is also now slightly above average for computer and internet access in Europe.

According to the new Eurobarometer E-Communications Household Survey, 69pc of Irish households now have a computer (up 5pc on previous survey) compared to an EU average of 68pc (up 4pc) and 66pc of Irish households (a rise of 4pc) have an internet connection compared to an EU average of 62pc (a rise of 5pc).

Some 58pc of Irish households have broadband internet access (up 4pc since end 2009) compared to an EU average of 55pc (up 7pc since end 2009).

In terms of mobile phone-only households, Ireland (35pc) is above the European average of 27pc. The leader in this trend is the Czech Republic, where 81pc of the population have mobile phones only.

According to the survey, 56pc of Irish households have mobile phones only on a pre-paid basis (fourth highest in Europe) compared to an EU average of 34pc and that the number of Irish households with access to both fixed and mobile telephone lines has fallen at the fastest rate in Europe since 2009.

Some 32pc of Irish households make calls over the internet compared to an EU average of 28pc.

The survey was carried out between 9 February and 8 March 2011 using a sample of 27,000 households representative of the EU population.

Telephone access

Only 2pc of Irish households have no phone access, either fixed or mobile (same as EU average). This represents a rise of 1pc since the last survey carried out at the end of 2009.

Only 55pc of Irish households have access to both fixed and mobile telephone lines, a drop of 11pc since end of 2009 and the highest drop in Europe. The EU average is 62pc, unchanged since the last survey.

Some 64pc of Irish households have fixed access compared to an EU average of 71pc. This represents a drop of 7pc since the end of 2009 compared to an average drop of 2pc across the EU. Eight per cent of Irish households (up 2pc on end of 2009) have fixed access but no mobile compared to an EU average of 9pc (down 2pc on end of 2009).

Some 35pc of Irish households have mobile phones only, up 7pc on the last survey. The EU average was 27pc, up 2pc.

Some 90pc of Irish households have access to at least one mobile phone compared to an EU average of 89pc. This represents a drop of 3pc since the last survey at end of 2009. However, for the EU as a whole, access to mobile phones increased by 2pc.

Some 56pc of Irish households have mobile access only on a pre-paid basis (fourth highest in Europe) compared to an EU average of 34pc. This represents a drop of 4pc since the last survey for Irish households.

Eighteen per cent of Irish households have mobile phones only on a contract basis (a rise of 5pc since previous survey) compared to an EU average of 36pc (up 2pc on previous survey).

Some 75pc of Irish households limit their mobile calls because of concerns over cost, a rise of 3pc since the previous survey and fifth highest in Europe. The EU average is 65pc, up 4pc on previous survey.

Irish respondents are also sixth most likely to limit their use of mobile internet access because they are concerned about the cost, at 58pc, compared to an EU average of 50pc.

Computer, TV and internet access

Some 69pc of Irish households now have a computer (up 5pc on previous survey) compared to an EU average of 68pc (up 4pc). The Netherlands is highest at 95pc (up 3pc).

Sixty-six per cent of Irish households (a rise of 4pc) have an internet connection compared to an EU average of 62pc (a rise of 5pc). The Netherlands was again highest at 94pc. Overall southern European households were more likely not to have internet access than those in the north.

Dutch households were most likely to have broadband internet access at 90pc (up 11pc).

Five per cent of Irish households have narrowband internet access (down 1pc) compared to an EU average of 5pc. Narrowband access was most common in Germany and Latvia (both 11pc).

Some 42pc of Irish households (a rise of 7pc since end 2009) have mobile internet access compared to an EU average of 34pc (a rise of 1pc). Mobile internet access is highest in Sweden at 59pc (a rise of 1pc).

Ninety-eight per cent of Irish and EU households have access to a television. Irish people are second most likely (43pc) after Austria (45pc) to have TV reception through satellite. The EU average is only 21pc.

Bundles

Some 33pc of Irish households (an increase of 6pc) are buying "bundled" internet, phone and TV services from a single provider compared to an EU average of 42pc (up 4pc).

For 32pc of Irish people, the main advantage of packages is that it results in only one invoice – 27pc think they are cheaper than paying separately.

Some 32pc of Irish people do not regularly read comparisons of tariff bundles but 41pc claim it is easy to compare the terms of service and tariffs of bundles currently on offer.

Irish respondents were most likely to have considered changing their provider but decided against it on the basis they were satisfied with their current level of service at 24pc compared to an EU average of 12pc. Some 44pc of Irish respondents have never even considered changing their bundle provider compared to an EU average of 60pc.

Seventy-seven per cent of Irish respondents did not or did not really try to change internet providers compared to an EU average of 73pc. Only 11pc of Irish households have changed their internet service provider, which is slightly above the EU average of 10pc.

However, Irish respondents (23pc) were most likely to have considered changing their internet provider but decided against it as they were happy with their existing internet service, compared to an EU average of 9pc.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com