Europeans Do Without Landlines, and Love It

Some say trends start Europe and cross the pond over to the US. It’s true for fashion – is it true for personal communication as well?

According to a study by the EU, Europeans are turning their back on traditional landlines and instead are embracing internet telephony (also called Voice over IP or VoIP) and mobile handsets. As Ars Technica points out, survey respondents aren’t getting landlines because of a lack of access, but rather because of a disinterest in the service altogether.

It is of no surprise to me that PSTN landlines are going the way of the dodo bird. They are expensive, non-innovative, and lackluster. Why should we pay for PSTN lines when a VoIP line can do all the same functions at a fraction of the cost. If you have a quality broadband connection and QoS, VoIP can be liberating on your pocket book.

skype logoServices such as Skype show consumers that voice is just another communication mode enhanced by Internet, just as email transformed inter-office communication. Therefore, using the net to route the calls is effective and neccesary with today’s communication infrastructure. In Europe, where telephony termination rates (translation: voice calls are expensive in Europe) are outragously high, Skype has become very popular. According to the aforementioned study, this is especially true in the blok states of Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Poland, and Bulgaria, where Skype usage is above 50% of European internet-enabled households.

As an additional note, Skype becomes most inviting when you can use it away from your PC. I have used a Philips-made cordless phone that uses Skype to route calls. For my review of the Philips VoIP 841 cordless phone, check it out at Web Worker Daily.