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US using more mobiles than landlines

And VoIP take-up forecast to take off

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Mobile phones have eclipsed landlines as communication methods of choice for Americans, according to an online survey by Harris Interactive.

The survey found 58 per cent of people had a landline, while 74 per cent of people owned a mobile phone.

It also predicted that use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones is likely to double in the next six months. Although only five per cent of respondents are currently using VoIP phones, this is expected to rise to 10 per cent within six months.

Nine per cent of respondents said they had given up their landline and now relied on their mobile exclusively. Five per cent reckon they'll do so within a year, and 47 per cent are "somewhat considering it". However, 39 per cent say they would never change.

What's more, 30 per cent said their mobile contract was actually cheaper than their landline deal.

Asked what was stopping those that still had a landline from switching completely to mobile or VoIP, reasons cited were topped by a desire to make phone calls during power cuts and the ability to call local emergency services (there has been much controversy because VoIP phones don't always work with US emergency lines, which can tell where emergency calls are coming from).

Network reliability and the lack of dropped calls was the third most important factor.

Harris Interactive questioned 1,125 people via its website. ®

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