Phone call still popular in Europe

At the end of May, the European Commission published the results of a study on electronic communication, aiming to show market trends, new uses of technology and assess the benefits to citizens of the existence of a competitive digital environment in the European Commission (EU).

The findings show that Europeans are increasingly using Internet based communications, with mobile Internet access having increased significantly, with 69% of households now having at least one member with a mobile internet access.

The survey also shows that:

  • Europeans prefer to communicate using a mobile phone call (9 out of 10 respondents);
  • 75% use SMS, 69% emails, 67% landline calls and 53% instant messaging.
  • on a daily basis, 74% of Europeans consider that mobile telephony is more important than mobile Internet (34%), followed by fixed telephony (32%), fixed Internet (27%) and SMS (26%);
  • Mobile internet is perceived by the 15-24 age group as the second most important communications services after mobile telephony (62%), while for the 55+ age group it is the sixth most important service with (12%), and second for the overall EU population (34%).

In all Member States there is a big generation gap in using different Internet-based communication tools. The younger generation (15-24) is using internet-based communications services at a much higher rate than older people: 68% of young people use daily instant messaging while only 12% of the 55+ group use it).

The study shows that quality-related factors are becoming more important when subscribing to an internet connection: the maximum download or upload speed and amount of data that can be downloaded or uploaded are the factors which consumers value more. The study shows that the majority of people subscribing for communication services say that price remain the most important factor (for 79%) and in the second place is quality of service (for 70%).

Nearly half of the young respondents would be willing to have a longer contract in exchange for faster and higher quality internet connectivity.

As regards contracts made by consumers, the study shows that 57% of households have changed bundle provider at least once in the last five years.

While almost half of respondents have signed a communications contract in the last three years, only 22% of them have read the terms and conditions entirely. From those who partly or entirely read the contract (62%), more than 8 in 10 consider that they had sufficient and clear information about the duration and renewal or roll over conditions; 83% agree there was sufficient and clear information about the quality of services subscribed to and 79% agree there was sufficient and clear information about the termination of the contract.

This survey covers the 28 Member States of the EU. Between 17 and 26 October 2015, 27,822 EU citizens from different social and demographic categories were interviewed face-to-face at home in their native language.

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