Flat rates lead to increased use of mobile phones in Germany

Mobile phone usage is on the rise in Germany. From 2007 to 2008 the total usage time increased by about 10% to 30.5 hours on a per capita basis. For this year the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) expect a similar development. The increase is mainly due to cost-efficient flat and volume rates which have lead to a steady increase in the quantity of mobile phone calls since the year 2006. In total the number of calling minutes has almost doubled since the year 2005.

Also interesting is the fact that since 2006 the number of minutes accumulated through phone calls outgoing from wireless networks has been significantly higher than the number of minutes clocked up by phone calls incoming to wireless nets. This is due to lump sum packages which include calls from mobile phones into landline networks. The total amount of call minutes outgoing from wireless networks increased from 76.4 billion in the year 2007 to 84 billion in the year 2008 while the quantity of call minutes incoming to mobile networks increased from 60.2 to 66.2 billion.

As of the end of 2008 there were more than 107 million mobile phone contracts which correspond to on average 1.3 mobile phone connections for every person living in Germany. According to Eurostat, at the end of the year 2007 about 11% of all German households made phone calls exclusively by mobile phone. However, in other EU member states the number of such mobile-only-households is still significantly higher than in Germany.

In particular, in many countries of the former East block, where there was often no developed landline phone network, many users right from the start counted on wireless nets which were rapidly installed. In the Czech Republic, for instance, 64% of all households used exclusively mobile phones at the end of 2007. For Finland and Lithuania the respective figures were 61% and 53%. On average, 24% of households in the EU used mobile phones only. GERMAN