Are you clinging to your landline?

Do you still have a landline? If you do, you’re in an ever-diminishing pool.

In 2017, 6.67 million Australians ditched their landlines and moved to mobile phone communication.

By 30 June last year, more than one-third of adult Australians had scrapped their landlines, up from 22 per cent five years ago, according to a report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Eight in 10 Australian adults own a smartphone, up from 64 per cent five years ago.

“The trend away from landline phones for voice communication has continued for a number of years and has not slowed in recent years,”said ACMA senior research analyst Kylie Trengove.

“Our research shows that consumer reliance on mobile phones is continuing to strengthen, with volume of data downloaded over mobile phones handsets up by 45 per cent.”

So who is still clinging to their landlines? You guessed it – the baby boomers with 52 per cent of them still using their landlines for calls although 16 per cent have ditched them, compared with 10 per cent of Generation Y using landlines.

So should you ditch your landline? Here are some things to consider. 

1. Landlines were once much cheaper than mobiles to make calls. No more. A quick search of mobile plans reveals that most offer unlimited calls and texts to Australian numbers. Only a handful charge for domestic calls.

2. Before disconnecting, check the reception in your house from the various mobile phone companies. If you live in a remote area, your mobile coverage might be poor.

3. Your mobile phone lets you stay in touch with friends and family anywhere in the world via such apps as What’s App, for free. You can make calls and exchange text messages and photos/videos with no extra charge to your plan.

4. You can call 000 from any mobile phone, even if the handset is locked by a PIN or password.

5. An added bonus of dumping your landline is that it’s easier to avoid telemarketers. If you don’t recognise the number on your smartphone, don’t answer it. Bona fide callers will leave a message, telemarketers and scammers won’t.

Do you still have a landline? Why?

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Written by Janelle Ward

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