The landline phone could become extinct

Landline? I don’t have one! A new survey shows that many younger people often no longer even have a line for the classic telephone. One reason for this is that it is simply unnecessary, at least financially.

The landline phone no longer plays a role for many people. As a survey by Innofact on behalf of the comparison portal Verivox showed, one in four German citizens no longer makes calls at home via the fixed network at all. Around half of these consumers no longer even have a corresponding connection. The other half have one, but do not use it. A good 1,000 people took part in the online survey, which Verivox says is representative.

Fixed network particularly unpopular with younger people

The respondents were divided into three age groups. The findings: the younger the age, the less important the tried-and-tested telephone with its line to the home. In the 18 to 29 age group, the proportion of people who never use their landline at home or do not have one at all is 40 percent. Among 30- to 49-year-olds, the figure is still 31 percent, and among 50- to 69-year-olds, only 13 percent. Seniors over 70 were not included in the survey. Here, however, usage is likely to be significantly higher.

One reason for the decreased importance of the fixed network connection is likely to be the changed pricing policy of telecommunications providers in recent years: Most mobile rates now include a so-called allnet flat rate that covers connections to all German networks. This means that there are no longer any per-minute charges for domestic calls – so from a financial perspective, it doesn’t matter whether you use a flat-rate landline phone at home or a cell phone. What’s more, many consumers make calls via Internet services such as WhatsApp, Skype or Zoom anyway.

Classic telephone becomes less important

Among citizens who use the fixed network to make phone calls, a quarter can’t remember their number, according to the survey. The younger the respondent, the more often he had to pass when asked for his landline number. “The fact that 85 percent of older fixed-network users know their number by heart does not just have to do with more frequent use,” explains Verivox expert Jens-Uwe Theumer. “Since 2011, only longer numbers have been assigned for new connections in the fixed network due to the threat of a number shortage at the time.” These are worse to remember than the previously widespread, quite short numbers that older existing users in particular have, he says.

The classic telephone will probably become less important in the future. “With the exception of the pandemic year 2020, the use of fixed-line telephony has always been on the decline in recent years,” says Theumer. “This Corona effect is likely to fizzle out sooner or later: The smartphone has long since become the control center of everyday digital life, especially for younger people.” If many people remain in their home offices in the long term, this could mitigate the decline in fixed-network use. However, video telephony services are becoming more prevalent, says Theumer. “You don’t need a fixed telephone connection for that, but stable Internet.”

Fixed network is often included with the providers

The declining demand for fixed-network lines is offset by the providers’ offerings. They often market so-called double or triple flats, i.e., combinations of fixed network, Internet and possibly TV. Pure Internet flat rates without a fixed network are now rare – apart from stationary mobile communications solutions via LTE. Local cable providers in particular offer their customers the option of adding a fixed network to their Internet connection. At the big players in the industry – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefònica/O2 and 1&1 – fixed network is often included in the rates. You can read more about this here:

Providers where you can get Internet without a fixed network

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With material from dpa