The number of active mobile phones in Britain has soared to a record 76.4million – more than one for every man, woman and child in the country.
More than nine in ten adults now own at least one handset, figures show, while many have two or three, perhaps with a BlackBerry for work and an iPhone for social use.
Details on how the handsets – particularly smartphones with music players, games, cameras, internet and email access – have come to dominate modern life have been revealed by telecoms regulator Ofcom.
More than one in seven households relies entirely on mobiles and has done away with a fixed line for making calls. And one in 14 rely on them for access to the internet and emails.
Some 27 per cent of adults are smartphone users, with half buying in the last year.
The figures also show each handset is used for about 166 minutes of calls a month.
As the average length of each call is just 1 minute, 13 seconds, critics suggest people cut short ‘real’ conversations to communicate through text, email or social websites.
More children would miss their mobile more than their home TV, Ofcom found. And one in eight people say their partner spends more time on their phone than with them.
Ernest Doku, of comparison website uSwitch.com, said: ‘There were 76.4million active mobile connections in March – dwarfing the number of people here (62million).
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