Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Landlines under threat

Households may ditch a million fixed-line telephones in the next three years as rental charges rise.

According to independent telecommunications expert Paul Budde, fixed-line rental costs have risen about 40 per cent since 2001, while mobile phone costs have been falling.

Fixed-line rental costs about $30 a month.

Nearly a third of telephone calls made from homes are already on mobiles, and Budde, of Paul Budde Communication, says between 10 and 15 per cent of European households no longer have landlines as a result of competition from mobiles. Between two and three per cent of Australian households have done the same.

Budde says stiffer competition among mobile-phone carriers had brought prices down, to the benefit of users.

A growing number of households, particularly single-person ones, are questioning whether a fixed line offers value for money, considering rental is about $360 a year before even making a call. "