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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 11:14 GMT
Europeans hang up on fixed lines
EU households only using mobiles, BBC
The figures show wide variation across EU nations
Almost a fifth of European households use a mobile as their only phone, reveals research.

Lithuania heads the nations who have turned against landlines with 48% of households replacing a fixed phone with a mobile. Finland was second with 47%.

The figures from Eurostat, the EC's in-house statistical office, show how mobile phones have become essential to everyday European life.

It reports there are now 95 mobile phones for every 100 Europeans.

While the average across 25 EU member nations is 18% the figures reveal a divide between old and new Europe in commitment to fixed phones.

Older members of the EU, such as the UK (13%) and Germany (11%), tended to have fewer mobile-only homes compared to newcomers such as the Czech Republic which has 42%.

A partial explanation for the difference could be that fixed line penetration in many newer, former communist, EU members was never as high as it was in nations such as France and the UK.

In many of the former eastern bloc countries a mobile could often be the first phone that someone owns.

However, the figures showed that fixed lines were not falling entirely out of favour. The number of lines per 100 people has grown from 43 in 1995 to 48 in 2005 - the last time period for which these figures are available.

The numbers of mobile subscriptions per 100 people also varied widely from the regional average of 95, said Eurostat.

Luxembourg racked up 158 mobile subscriptions per 100 people, closely followed by Lithuania (127) and Italy (122). Romania recorded the lowest number in this category with only 62 mobile subscriptions for every 100 people.

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