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IP/07/582

Brussels, 27 April 2007

Europe's digital revolution speeds up, finds new EU survey

Nearly 20% of European households buy bundled telecom packages, according to an EU-wide survey of 27,000 representative households published today. Almost 30% are now connected to the internet via high-speed 'broadband' links and households increasingly use mobile phones as fixed lines become less popular. 17% of Europeans having a home Internet connection use it for Internet telephony.

"Europe's digital economy is growing strongly as more and more households embrace convergence between fixed, mobile and Internet services," said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. "The challenge of this year's reform of the EU's telecom rules will be to respond to this rapidly changing technological environment while enhancing at the same time effective competition."

The key findings of the EU-wide survey published by the Commission today are the following:

  • Nearly 20% of Europeans buy two or more telecom products from a single service provider, the combination of fixed telephony and Internet access being the most common.
  • Increasingly, users are switching from fixed to mobile telephony: although the percentage of households with at least one mobile phone remains fairly stable at 81%, the share of ‘mobile-only’ households is rising in the EU (22%, up 4%) while the proportion of households with at least one fixed line decreases (72%, down 5%).
  • Broadband is rapidly becoming more popular in the EU (28%, up 6%) while narrowband is less so (12%, down 3%). Most households access the Internet via an ADSL line (53%, up 4%) and 34% of broadband connections are wireless.
  • 17% of Europeans who have a home Internet connection say that it is used for making phone calls. This proportion is twice as large in new Member States.
  • As more households connect to the Internet (42%, up 4%), the reason for not connecting is increasingly non-financial with 45% saying that it is simply because they are not interested.
  • 28% of Europeans have suffered significantly from problems with spam, viruses and spyware, underlining the need for the EU and Member States to be more proactive in fighting illegal activities (see IP/06/1629). Overall, most have installed antivirus software (81%) and antispam software (60%).
  • 40% (up 5%) know that the single European emergency number 112 enables them to reach emergency services everywhere in the EU, but many Member States need to improve the practical implementation of 112 (see IP/07/392).
  • 63% of Europeans are free-to-air TV, and not pay-TV subscribers. Fewer households subscribe to pay-TV in countries where they receive television through an aerial or a satellite, than in predominately cable TV countries.

Today's survey findings will feed into the ongoing public debate on the reform of the EU Telecom Rules, planned for summer this year (see IP/06/874).

The full text of the EU-wide household survey can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/info_centre/documentation/studies_ext_consult/index_en.htm#2007

Penetration rates for key telecom services


Average EU 27 households
Average EU 25 households
% change EU 25 Winter 2007 / Winter 2006
Overall telephone access (fixed and/ or mobile)
94%
96%
-1%
Mobile telephone access1
81%
82%
+2%
Fixed telephone access
72%
73%
-5%
Both fixed and mobile telephone access
58%
60%
-1%
Mobile but no fixed telephone access
22%
22%
+4%
Fixed but no mobile telephone access
15%
15%
-3%




Broadband internet access
28%
29%
+6%
DSL access
22%
23%
+4%
Cable-modem access
6%
6%
+2%




Television
97%
97%
-
Aerial
45%
47%
-3%
Cable-TV
35%
33%
-
Satellite
21%
22%
-

1 Note: The EU mobile telephone access rate per household is lower than the penetration rate per capita because of multiple mobile access (prepaid/postpaid) within a same household which only count as one when measured at a household level.


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