Despite the UK being one of the first European countries to adopt mobile phone technology, recent growth has been disappointing, according to figures released by Nokia.
The share of calls made using mobile phones rose just one per cent last year, despite the number of mobile subscriptions overtaking fixed-line contracts in 2000.
"I cannot understand why this progress is so slow," said Mikko Salminen, director of fixed/mobile convergence marketing at Nokia.
"The UK has five operators so this competition should improve service quality and prices should come down. But Britain is no longer one of the leaders in mobile adoption."
Salminen likened the situation to that in Sweden, which also adopted early but has seen growth slow to less than two per cent a year.
In contrast, mobile calls in Russia, Greece and Finland rose seven per cent, and growth is higher still in China.
Within Europe the time spent on mobile calls has overtaken fixed-line minutes in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Finland. Fixed-line calls are most dominant in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.
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