Less than a quarter of Canadian households now rely solely on land-line phone service, as the steady shift to cellphones and other alternatives continues, new figures show.

Only 3.1 million households — 24 per cent of Canadian households —had just land-line phone service in December, according to the latest residential telephone service survey by Statistics Canada. That's down from 3.7 million households, or 29.6 per cent, a year earlier.

Most households still have a land line, the figures show. But the number is slipping as more consumers switch to alternative forms of phone communication.

Statistics Canada says 72.4 per cent of households are now using at least one cellphone, up from 67.1 per cent in the prior year's survey. Albertans are the biggest cellphone customers, with 83.5 per cent of households having at least one cellphone. 

More people are choosing to abandon their land lines entirely in favour of cellphones. The survey found 6.4 per cent of Canadian households rely on cellphones as their only form of telephone service, up from 5.1 per cent in 2006.  

The shift to alternate phone service is even more noticeable in two newer technologies — cable phone service and Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. In December, 14.9 per cent of households had at least one of these services. A year earlier, the proportion who had cable or VoIP service was just 10.7 per cent.   

      Type of phone service - December 2007
Region  Land-line Land-line only Cell phone Cell phone only  Cable or VoIP
Canada  86.9%  24.0%  72.4%  6.4%  14.9%
 N.L.  94.2%  31.5%  66.2%  3.9%  7.5%
 P.E.I.  92.1%  28.0%  67.8%  5.4%  10.4%
 N.S.  92.3%  26.9%  70.0%  5.2%  14.0%
 N.B.  93.8%  31.9%  65.2%  4.2%  9.9%
 Que.  77.9%  30.3%  63.2%  6.3%  19.5%
 Ont.  90.6%  22.4%  75.1%  5.3%  14.0%
 Man.  90.0%  25.0%  71.4%  6.9%  11.4%
 Sask.  94.5%  24.8%  73.6%  4.0%  7.5%
 Alb.  88.8%  14.3%  83.5%  7.7%  15.4%
 B.C.  86.2%  20.8%  76.2%  10.2%  13.1%
      Source: Statistics Canada