Households with a landline telephone in the UK in Q1 2014-Q1 2020, by options for use

Despite a slight rise from 81 percent in 2014 to 83 percent in 2016, the share of households in the United Kingdom (UK) with a landline that can be used to make and receive calls fell to 73 percent in 2020. 22 percent of households report not having a landline at all. For every 100 inhabitants of the UK in 2017, there were 50 fixed telephone subscriptions.

Mobile phones offering a practical alternative

Mobile phones – particularly smartphones – are increasingly providing a practical alternative to a landline. 78 percent of all adults aged 16 years or older in the UK owned a smartphone as of 2018, compared with just 17 percent in 2008. Based on the falling average revenue per user (ARPU) of mobile post-paid customers, mobile telephony is becoming more affordable and replacing the need for a fixed line. Figures supplied by companies such as Vodafone and Telefonica support this view.

Falling fixed-line subscriptions around the world

   As well as in the UK, where there are around 33.14 million fixed-line subscriptions, subscriber numbers have been falling worldwide. Peaking at 1.261 billion subscriptions in 2006, the number of fixed-line subscriptions globally fell to just 979 million by 2017.

Is there a landline phone in your home that can be used to make and receive calls?

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Release date

April 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

Q1 2014 - Q1 2020

Number of respondents

2,675 respondents

Age group

16 years and older

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

During the survey, this question was posed as follows: " Is there a landline phone in your home that can be used to make and receive calls? (SINGLE CODE)"
The source adds the following information: "Data is tested at the 95% confidence level."
Base varies: 2014 (2,539); 2015 (2,675); 2016 (2,675); 2020(2,675)

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