There is public concern that use of mobile phones could increase the risk of brain tumours. If such an effect exists, acoustic neuroma would be of particular concern because of the proximity of the acoustic nerve to the handset. We conducted, to a shared protocol, six population-based case-control studies in four Nordic countries and the UK to assess the risk of acoustic neuroma in relation to mobile phone use. Data were collected by personal interview from 678 cases of acoustic neuroma and 3553 controls. The risk of acoustic neuroma in relation to regular mobile phone use in the pooled data set was not raised (odds ratio (OR) = 0.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.7-1.1). There was no association of risk with duration of use, lifetime cumulative hours of use or number of calls, for phone use overall or for analogue or digital phones separately. Risk of a tumour on the same side of the head as reported phone use was raised for use for 10 years or longer (OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.1-3.1). The study suggests that there is no substantial risk of acoustic neuroma in the first decade after starting mobile phone use. However, an increase in risk after longer term use or after a longer lag period could not be ruled out.