SmartPhone technology, greater use of email and social networks for keeping in contact, use of screen calling systems such as FaceTime and Skype, and better deals on calls via mobile phone networks mean landlines are gradually becoming redundant.
They are not even necessary for home broadband internet connections nowadays, just 12 years after the only way to get online was to have a fixed telephone number and a modem, and it was impossible to surf the net and talk on the phone at the same time.
Landlines still serve a purpose, however – free calls to any national fixed telephone number, and a set number of hours per month of free calls to foreign numbers means they are a cheap and convenient way of staying in contact with elderly relatives.
But already, 28% of Spaniards have dispensed with theirs, or never had one and always used a mobile in the case of many expats.
This still means more Spanish households have a landline than the average home in Europe, where 33% no longer have one – an increase of 15% in the last 10 years.
According to Spain’s National Telecommunications Market Commissions (CNMC), six in 10 homes
nationally have both mobile and landline telephones, with only 6% relying entirely on a landline and not owning a mobile.
Only 2% have no phone at all.
Figures across Europe vary greatly – 70% of homes on the continent have access to internet on their mobile phones, but whilst some use mobiles only and rarely have landlines, others continue to rely more on the latter.
In Finland, nearly nine in 10 homes – 87% – only use a mobile, a situation shared by 84% of households in the Czech Republic and 70% in Lithuania and Slovakia.
At the other end of the scale, just 15% of households in Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands use only a mobile phone, dropping to 7% in Malta.
Generally, mobile-only homes are likely to be found more in northern and eastern Europe.
Between January 2014 and now, three years later, mobile internet access has shot up from 48% to 69%, and 56% of homes in Europe have both mobile and fixed internet – but only 13% use nothing but mobile phone-based internet.
Households with fixed internet and no mobile internet have fallen by 11% and the number of homes with no internet access at all have dropped by 20% since early 2014.
Access to internet by mobile phone has more than doubled in the past four years, the EU study reveals.