Young adults leading trend away from fixed-line phones: ACMA

More young adults choosing smartphones, tablets and VoIP over landline phones

A growing number of Australians are ditching their fixed-line phones in favour of internet-enabled mobile devices, according to research by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The report revealed 14 per cent of Australian do not own a landline phone, an increase of 10 per cent since June 2009. It also found young adults (aged 18-24) are leading the charge of rejecting fixed-line phones, with one in three opting not to connect one after leaving the parental home.

In addition, 2.9 million Australians have chosen to use the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service at home, an increase of 16 per cent since June 2009, as consumers are drawn to its cheaper call costs and video telephony option.

ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said this trend of moving away from fixed-line phones to internet-enabled mobile devices is due to the continual advancement of technology and the growing preference of consumers for flexible communications.

“Increasing functionality of mobile phones and continued handset innovations, including the emergence of the smartphone, tablets and internet-enabled mobile devices, is underpinning the importance of mobile technology to the lifestyles of many Australians,” he said.

The report also found the rising preference for smartphones and other internet-enabled mobile devices could be attributed to a large number of mobile users feeling pressured to balance their work and social lives, with most regarding their phone as essential for their personal security.

However, despite the shifting preference of young adults ditching landline phones for internet-enabled mobile devices, fixed-line phones remained a solid presence in the homes of 97 per cent of those aged 65 and over.

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