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People refuse from stationary phones even before phone tariffs increase
By Natalya Kharchenko
In spring of 2015 the percentage of mobile phone users among adult population in Ukraine was 2.3 times higher than the percentage of those who have a stationary (landline) phone: 89% of adults in Ukraine use mobile telecommunication, and only 39% use stationary phones. The percentage of stationary phone users continued to drop.
Between May 20 and June 2, 2015 Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted the nation-wide public opinion poll. Totally 2022 respondents aged 18 and above were interviewed face-to-face in all regions of Ukraine (except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea). In Luhansk region the poll was conducted only in territories controlled by Ukraine’s government forces. In Donetsk region the poll was conducted both in territories controlled by Ukraine’s government forces, and territories controlled by separatist forces. Statistical sample error (with probability of 0.95 and design-effect of 1.5) does not exceed 3.3% for indicators close to 50%; 2.8% for indicators close to 25%; 2.0% for indicators close to 10%; 1.4% for indicators close to 5%.
As of May 2015, about 38% of adults in Ukraine used landline (stationary) phone communication, when the percentage of mobile phone users reached 89%, among which 57% have only mobile phone, and 31% have both mobile and stationary phones. About 7% of adults in Ukraine have only stationary phone, and one person of twenty (5%) have neither a mobile nor a stationary phone.
During the last years the percentage of mobile phone users in Ukraine has not changed significantly, which could mean that the market is near saturation point. But the number of stationary phone users dropped another 5 percentage points from 2014 till now.
The choice of communication type depends on available infrastructural facilities and personal preferences and means. It so happened that people in rural areas had less possibilities to connect to landline telephone system. But there are also some territorial disproportions in infrastructure. For instance in urban areas in Central region 56% have stationary phone, while in Western - 48%, Southern - 39%, and Eastern – only 32%. At the same time, the use of mobile phones is almost equally widespread in all regions (88-92%).
If to speak about personal characteristics which influence communication choices, we may note that this choice mostly depend on age, financial situation and level of education.
Mobile communication is most actively used by young people: among adults aged 18-35 almost everyone has a mobile phone and only a fourth has a stationary phone. The least percentage of mobile phone users is among people aged over 65, but even in this age group the spread of mobile phone usage is about the same, or even higher than the level of landline phone usage.
The higher is the education level achieved, the higher is the percentage of people who have any telephone, and among respondents with primary / incomplete secondary education the percentage of those who have neither a mobile nor a stationary phone is the highest (29%).
Among people who do not have enough money to buy food, 10% do not have any phone (two years ago this figure was 19.4%), and 57.8% have only mobile phone (46.1% in 2013). With the increase of the living standards, the spread of phone usage is increasing too. Among the most wealthy respondents there were no one who have no phone.
In general, if to analyse the dynamics (see chart), we can say that even if there was some competitive struggle between landline and mobile communication, it finished over the period of 2006-2008, and now mobile communication is an undisputed leader, whose further development is retarded by age and settlement conditions.
Vast majority (83%) of mobile phone users have only one active mobile number, about 16% use two numbers, and 1% use three numbers. Mostly people combine using services of some two dominant mobile operators: MTS+Kyivstar (6% of mobile phone users who agreed to name their provider), MTS+life:) (5%), Kyivstar+life:) (2%), or even all three of them (MTS+Kyivstar+life:) - 1%).It is interesting that if people use several mobile numbers, those numbers not always belong to different mobile operators. For example, about 1% of mobile phone users has two active Kyivstar numbers, and 1% has two active MTS numbers.
Nine of ten mobile phone users use only one personal mobile phone, 9% use two devises, and 1% have three mobile phones. Among people who have several active mobile phone numbers, about a half is using dual-SIM phones. The people who are more likely to have several active mobile phone numbers or several mobile phones are girls under 25 and men aged 35-44.
In Ukraine the practice of collective use of one mobile phone in a household (mobile only households) is not very popular, unlike some countries (for example, in Finland and Czech Republic 80%, in USA 44%, in United Kingdom 15%). When answering a question “Please tell me, is your family has a mobile phone number, which is regularly used by several family members, as an alternative to traditional landline phone”, 6% said “yes” both in rural and urban areas.
Among other things we asked the respondents what they think about the initiative of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine concerning developing measures in order to make it possible to identify the personality of mobile subscriber. In general, only 14% of adult population supports the idea of obligatory identification of mobile subscribers.
It is predictable that the opinions of mobile phone users and of those who do not use mobile communication are not the same. People who use mobile phones are strongly oppose this idea: 60% fully or rather oppose, 20% - indifferent, 14% - support. Non-users are mostly indifferent (41%), about 28% oppose, 23% don’t know, and only 8% support.
Chart. The dynamics of mobile and stationary phone usage among adult population of Ukraine in 2004-2015.