The European Commission has published the results of a study on electronic communications. The findings of the study show that Europeans are increasingly using internet-based communication. The study found mobile internet access increased significantly with 69% of households now having at least one member with a mobile internet access, a +21 points increase over 2014.

The survey also shows that:

  • People prefer to communicate over a mobile phone call (nine out of ten respondents);
  • 75% use SMS, 69% e-mails, 67% landline calls and 53% instant messaging.
  • In their daily life, people consider that mobile telephony is more important (74% Europeans) than mobile Internet (34%), 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+ it comes as 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 as the younger generation (15-24) is using internet-based communications services at a much higher rate than the older people (68% use daily instant messaging while only 12% of the 55+ use it).

Quality of internet

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 show that 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%), when considering the top 4 most important factors.

Nearly half of the young respondents (15-24) would be willing to have a longer contract in exchange of faster and higher quality internet connectivity, and 38% for the whole of the EU population (all age groups).


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 eight in ten consider that he/she had sufficient and clear information about the duration and renewal or roll over conditions (84%), 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.


The eCommunication study is conducted on a yearly basis since 2005. The survey aims to keep abreast of market trends in a fast changing digital environment while providing regular focuses on consumer's perception in areas in line with the development of the EU telecom policy agenda.

While last year's edition was focused on roaming and net neutrality, this year's edition puts the emphasis on the uptake of Internet-based communication services and the associated perception of needs for consumer protection, as it currently exists for traditional communications services, in relation with the forthcoming review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications.

The report gives data on all EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.