More Australians ditch landlines, go mobile

Nearly 3.3 million Australian say they don't have a fixed voice line.

Businesses may wish to reconsider which phone number they collect from customers after new research revealed that nearly 20 per cent of the Australian population has cut the cord, replacing their fixed-line home phone with a mobile.

By the end of 2012, about 3.3 million Australians aged 18 and over were only using mobile phones for calls, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The ACMA attributed the rise in cord cutting to better mobile phones, services and plans.

Most mobile-only users are under the age of 35 (61 per cent), live in a metropolitan area (63 per cent) and have a personal income of less than $50,000 (66 per cent), the ACMA said.

Over 12 months in 2012, the number of mobile-only users grew by 20 per cent, consistent with growth rates in the previous two years, the ACMA said.

The largest segment of cord cutters in 2012 was between the ages of 25 and 34, representing 38 per cent of the growth, the ACMA found. That group also represents 38 per cent of all mobile-only users, it said.

The second largest contributor to last year’s growth was those aged 18-24, representing 23 per cent of the growth. The age groups with the least contributors were those 65 and up (3 per cent) and those 45 to 54 (8 per cent).

In addition, the ACMA found that 35 per cent of mobile-only users do not have a home Internet connection. The agency said that 45 per cent of those accessed the internet using a mobile phone, while others did so at work, school, the library or other places besides home.

Overall, 480,000 or less than 3 per cent of the Australian population aged 18 and over had completely substituted personal fixed-line voice and Internet service for mobile, the ACMA said. However that number increased 70 per cent over the year of 2012, it said.

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