A report by the EU statistical office Eurostat reported today that almost one in five EU households have gone fully wireless, cutting off landline subscriptions that dominated the telecommunications market for over one hundred years. In 2005, out of every 100 habitants, 95 had a mobile phone. In 1996 only 8 out of 100 could go mobile.
New comers to the European Union tend to have more wireless only households. A country like the Czech Republic boasts that 42% of households have switched over to mobile phones, while only 11% in Germany can make that same claim. It is believed the poor landline infrastructure in ex-communist countries has fueled the switch to wireless handsets in central and eastern Europe.
In Finland, home of mobile giant Nokia, 47% of households have done away with landlines to embrace cellphones. But in Sweden, where rival Ericsson is headquartered, 0% of households rely only on mobile phones.
For every 100 people, Luxembourg leads the EU with 158 mobile subscription, or 1.58 subscriptions per person. Lithuania and Italy are close seconds with 127 and 122, respectively.
The report also has stats on the most talkative mobile users. Cypriots were the chattiest EU citizens, talking an average of 6 minutes a day per subscriber. The figure was lowest in Poland and Germany, with 1.3 and 1.6 minutes of talk time, respectively.