Latvians throw out home phone in favor of mobile

  • 2005-10-26
  • From wire reports
RIGA - Latvia's citizens now use more mobile telecommunication services than fixed-line telecommunications, the TNS Latvia market-research company announced last week, citing a Eurobarometer study.

The new study found that the number of mobile-phone users significantly exceeds that of fixed-line communications users at 77 percent and 59 percent of the population respectively.

Mobile phones are used by 90 percent of citizens falling in the age group of up to 40 years of age and only 31 percent of people in the age group above 65 years.

Of the fixed-line users the trend is the opposite, with fixed telecommunications more frequently used by people older than 55 years.

Both mobile and fixed communications are more often used by citizens residing in Riga, which authors of the study attribute to a higher income level in Riga and people's desire to always be in reach.

The study also reveals that Latvia has the highest rate of fixed-communications users in the Baltics. In Estonia, 56 percent of citizens use fixed communications and in Lithuania, 45 percent, allowing the researchers to conclude that, "the fixed telecommunications in Latvia are rather competitive with the mobile, in comparison with the other Baltic states."

In Lithuania, 76 percent of citizens use mobile phones, very close to Latvia's level. In Estonia, the figure is somewhat higher at 83 percent.

Today mobile telecommunication services in Latvia are provided by Tele2, LMT, Bite Latvija, Triatel and the virtual operator Zetcom, which only sells pre-paid cards. The fixed-line market is still dominated by the former monopolist Lattelekom. Tele2 had attempted to establish a presence in the fixed-line market in all three countries, however earlier this month the provider announced that it was ceasing all investments due to an insufficient regulatory base throughout the Baltics.