As the smartphone-wielding younger generation leads the charge to cheap web-based calling, dedicated home phones may be reaching the end of the line.
Canstar Blue's mobile phone usage survey found that a third of Generation Y have already abandoned landlines altogether, in sharp contrast to 14 per cent of Generation X respondents and just 8 per cent of baby boomers.
Mobile phones can effectively piggyback on fast wireless networks to make calls via the web, often at cheaper prices than conventional calling.
Last week Woosh launched a service allowing smartphones to link to local, mobile and international calling networks at home, using a free modem.
Other popular existing services include applications like Skype and Viber, which route domestic phone calls through wi-fi connections for free.
"As time goes on and the copper's getting pulled out of the ground and replaced with fibre, your phone line is gone anyway," said Woosh general manager of operations Richard Fry.
"Everyone will be calling over the internet, it's just a matter of time."
And landlines are fast becoming a thing of the past for many Waikato Times readers.
"I have been living out of home for four years and haven't had a landline this whole time and probably won't get one," said Emily Lawrence. "The only reason we would get one was if we got broadband and had to have a landline for this."
Mandy Suess said she was a "bit beyond" Generation Y, but still only used a mobile phone for all her private and business calls and messages.
"A landline just doesn't make any sense any more and it's so much cheaper, too, thanks to messenger apps like Viber and Whatsapp. Both are brilliant."
Canstar Blue's survey also revealed that the majority of mobile customers preferred prepay plans to fixed contracts, with fully two thirds of the younger generation paying as they go.
Relative newcomer 2degrees scooped up Canstar Blue's most satisfied customer award, receiving five stars for the retail experience it provided.
That was ahead of major telco competitors Telecom and Vodafone (four stars), and retailer The Warehouse (three stars).
Canstar Blue's research was based on the responses of 1358 people who bought a mobile or plan from a New Zealand retailer during the past year.
SAYING NO TO LANDLINES
Generation Y (born after c1983) – 33%
Generation X (born after c1965) – 14%
Baby boomers (born after c1946) – 8%
- © Fairfax NZ News