24th Feb 2018

Another 6.67 million ditch landlines for mobile only

Are you clinging to your landline?
Janelle Ward

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?


Related articles:
Smartphones under $200
Backing up iPhones
Stopping telemarketers


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28th Feb 2018
We keep our landline for free calls to standard numbers in Australia plus 32 countries (the best we can find for mobiles are around 10-12 countries, and don't include the two countries where most of our respective families reside).
But we'll dump the landline as soon as we can get a compatible mobiles plan - especially as the NBN configuration limits the number and type of modems that can be used because they require the landline to be connected into the modem, not the wall socket as in pre-NBN days.
28th Feb 2018
The only reason I keep the landline is because its a backup and the audio is far superior to a mobile phone. Its so much easier to Press 1 for this and 2 for that etc. - otherwise its just a bill I don't need.
28th Feb 2018
I keep the land line because I like to watch catch up tv and movies on the internet. The internet from my mobile phone is limited and too expensive to do that. I can wifi my modem to the phone and other cadets too.
28th Feb 2018
You can have the Internet without the landline phone.
28th Feb 2018
We have kept our landline to have the internet on our PC. We would love to see 5G so that we can ditch the landline.
28th Feb 2018
Next year Dakota! Be prepared to buy a new smartphone but not until the end of this year. Current mobiles cannot handle 5G.
28th Feb 2018
Yes...who wants to be online with a mobile the size of your hand. Unbearable thought.
28th Feb 2018
We need our landline as there is seldom another option available.
There is very occasional mobile coverage and that is patchy at best, even with a brand new tower just 5km away reception hasn't improved.
1st Mar 2018
Same, AutumnOz. Mobile reception in our area is hopeless, and we don't have a tower nearby. We to NBN recently and unlike many, we love it because we had such dreadful internet before. Now it's reasonably reliable, and we don't have to have our phone thru Telstra. There is competition, and prices have fallen. But for mobiles, we are stuck with Telstra (though we use it through Aldimobile to get a better deal) and the drop-outs drive us nuts. I beg people to call my landline so I can actually have a conversation without being cut-off in mid-sentence after a minute of talking.
28th Feb 2018
We still have a landline because mobile phone coverage in our area is virtually zilch despite only being 120km from Brisbane as the crow flies...and the landline is not too reliable. Our best form of communication is the internet via satellite.
28th Feb 2018
we have a landline only to provide broadband (ADSL - NBN hasn't arrived where we live yet). This is so we can watch Netflix and iView - BUT there is no phone plugged into the landline - so we don't get any scam calls. When mobile networks provide streaming quality connection we'll dump the landline.
28th Feb 2018
This is an interesting topic. I am torn between converting to nbn and ditching the landline and modem or converting entirely to mobile.
As a baby boomer, I understand that some of us are more cynical of technology and change. However, with NBN (I'm not connected yet because our ordinary free-standing house in a normal Sydney suburb is apparently "difficult") I understand that it will be dependent on a consistantly available electricity service where NBN internet and its associated phone line will be unavailable during blackouts and power outages.
But I guarantee there will be no compensation for the times when NBN is not available due to those blackouts or other causes. So, during those times we will need to use our mobile phones anyway.
And yes, I already have many dropouts with my internet through wi-fi over the regular analog landline. So why do I persist with it?
With the advances in mobile phone technology, I can already use my mobile phone as a "hotspot" to connect my PC and/or laptop to the internet. Major data usage is usually taken up by streaming catchup TV or Netflix (or similar apps) and these are now more often offered as a data-free streaming service on many mobile plans.
Personally, I would be very happy to move entirely to my mobile devices. However, with an older husband, who doesn't even know how to turn on my smart phone, the regular landline is his connection with friends and family. Therein lies my dilemma.
So maybe it isn't the Baby Boomers themselves who are reluctant to ditch the landline, but the older family members who find modern technology beyond their comprehension.
28th Feb 2018
I only have a prepaid mobile, it's all I need. The landline was part of the Internet deal. I've never got into the walking around all day with a mobile stuck to my ear. If mobiles do cause brain tumours we could lose 3/4 s of the populations breeding females. That would be terrible , it might even get more funding than breast cancer though I couldn't imagine how.
28th Feb 2018
Tib the phones have improved and are not a cancer risk these days.
28th Feb 2018
I am obviously a dinasaur that just doesn't understand what's going on, I am with Optus for my phone and internet, as far as I understand I am getting included local and national calls, I get international calls at a fixed rate of $2:50 for 30 mins although I don't recall the last time I made an international call, I do everything via Skype of FaceTime which is free, calls to Australian mobiles are $2:00 for 30 mins, my internet is unlimited, my monthly charge is $60 plus gst and a couple of other charges for paper bills etc. I have never seen a better deal using mobile phones as our primary phone, keeping in mind that we have two mobile phones so I am assuming that would be two plans that we would have to pay for.
28th Feb 2018
tried the mobile phones n such but mum cant seem to handle it so we went back to landline
28th Feb 2018
I'm keeping my landline also because I too don't really understand mobiles. My internet comes through Belong I get 100gb for $35 per month.
I do have a mobile that I keep in my glove box for emergencies, it only costs $15 per year from Aldi, the $$ are building up through lack of use.
28th Feb 2018
I ditched my landline in year 2001. Never looked back.
28th Feb 2018
Dumped my landline a couple of years ago....rarely used it, due to my mobile, and too many annoying scammers ringing. Waste of money in the end.
My mobile is all I need.
28th Feb 2018
I cant even avoid telemarketers using mobile just for text, how can anyone say mobile is easier to avoid telemarketers. Only way is to take out the plug at the back of the other phone till they go away.

Where do the stats come from that say people have ditched their land line? When I went to NBN they put my landline phone, through the NBN modem without asking me. Does that count as having "ditched" the landline. When the computer goes down I cant tell them about it, because it means my phone is down too.
28th Feb 2018
Strange thing about my mobile, I only use it for text and the marketing only comes in text. Its an emergency phone so the message alarm is always on. I have been on to vodaphone for months to finally get rid of it all.
28th Feb 2018
When you switch to NBN this often includes the landline and also the internet.
28th Feb 2018
Use landline as connection for computer through it (or something like that!). Also make a lot of international calls, get them for cost of domestic. Most people I am phoning internationalonly have landline - no computer etc
Old Geezer
28th Feb 2018
Landline is included in internet deal and cost me nothing to make calls. Also have CND included for free so if it shows the number just like a mobile. Message bank also included so if I am away people can leave messages for me. MY mobile is connected to Aldi and has heaps of credit as I have to pay $15 a year and never use it enough to use up the $15 for calls.
28th Feb 2018
I’ve kept my landline for the MedicAlert device that I have .... should I be taken ill and unable to speak I can at least press a button to get help!!
28th Feb 2018
If NBN is coming to you soon you need to talk to them about this because many of these units are incompatible with the NBN, never mind the phone doesn't work in a power cut!
28th Feb 2018
I would love to embrace new technology but having no mobile service at home (Telstra) and ADSL being 1.3mbps maximum we have no choice even though we are residential. A new NBN tower went in but apparently we are out of range and they are turning off copper soon so we won't even have a landline. To download a movie I take my laptop to my daughters place. Copper needs to be kept connected for those like us that have no alternative.
28th Feb 2018
I agree with you Gammer I to keep my landline because of having a Medical Alarm for medical emergencies I also have my PaceMaker Monitor hooked up to it At least I don't have to remember to charge it so it is always available to use. I also have very poor vision and hearing,osteoarthrits and Carpel Tunnel in my hand which makes handling a mobile difficult to which my landline is especially set up for this. I often need an Ambulance so my landline is necessary as it is always ready to go. I am tired of being told to go mobile as I had an emergency once when I had a mobile but the only I cold get through was by my ever ready landline.I then ditched mobile.The emergency was life threatening.
28th Feb 2018
Australians living outside of metropolitan areas still need landlines, because mobile reception is so poor.
East of Toowoomba
28th Feb 2018
I keep the landline as it doesn't cost me a cent through my internet provider and it is handy to be able to provide that phone number when needed. The answer machine cuts in almost immediately so I am not bothered by telemarketers and real people who need to contact me will leave a message and I'll call them back, at my leisure.

I don't give out my mobile phone number and therefore am not bothered by calls from people/organisations that I'd rather not hear from.
28th Feb 2018
We can't afford a mobile plan for both of us so we had to get two new VOIP cordless hand-sets. Whenever the internet goes down, so does our phone so if we had an emergency and no mobile phone during such a time we would be stuck. The NBN was not properly thought through and just foisted on us whether or not we want it.
1st Mar 2018
I love my landline as I can hear it ring and hear he other party clearly. Have a similar setup to Old Geezer and have to be nagged to remember to take my mobile in case of some unforseen problem occurring while out.I find the constant checking battery charge, fiddly controls irritating.
Most of my friends also use their landlines for conversation, and those who have ditched landline (usually for cost reasons) often then have less contact with their previous landline contacts.We also have a VOIP service which we prefer for any naiional calls. Being a dinosaur, I also prefer windup watches and abhor life hanging on the end of batteries for everything.
1st Mar 2018
A number of my friends don't like caliing mobile numbers. Also a call to 000 the locstion is known immediately by the operator
1st Mar 2018
They will have to cut my landline off me when "they" come to get it. Love it!. Clear as a bell wherever I make a call to. Reception here with a mobile not always so good--dropping out etc and anyone who rings sounds like they are under water. Talk to family on their mobiles and it's the same or there is always an echo. Can never remember to take the mobile with me, and if I do, when I look at it, it needs recharging--Again!!! Leave my landline alone. NBN not due for nearly another 12 months!!!
1st Mar 2018
When are they going to have a Mobile phone BOOK so as you can look up numbers you need or have lost???

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