The Decline of the Landline: What it Means for the Future of Calls and Internet

18 Jul 2014

landline vs mobile The life span of telephone and internet services which revolve around having a land-line installed have long been called into question. However, recent data made available by Mobithinking and Ofcom suggests that the end is in sight for the now outdated technology. With the roll out of 4G and fibre-optic broadband, the reliance upon the copper wired technology of landlines has been reduced. New trends have emerged, with consumers focussing on mobile solutions instead. Ofcom has put together a useful infographic that sums up current consumer behaviour within the UK. The most important facts to take from this are:

  • There are 82.7m mobile subscriptions in the UK.
  • There are 24.4m home landlines and a total of 33.1m fixed landlines (including landlines used for broadband connections).
  • 15% of people live in a ‘mobile only’ household.

These stats help to create a picture that shows how voice and internet data is being consumed within the UK. As you can see, mobile subscriptions outnumber landlines by a significant amount. This is easily explainable, as most people will have their own individual mobile phone, yet it is rare for more than one landline to be installed in a non-commercial building. However Ofcom have also indicated that the amount of landlines has been in decline since 2002. This means that the current figures are a snapshot of a wider process of decline. The amount of landlines is going to continue to decrease, and here is why landline phone   From the period 2011-2012, page views on internet sites that came from mobile devices nearly doubled. Now, it is true that some of these devices would have been using WiFi, but figures have shown that mobile broadband connections increased by over 100m subscriptions from 2012-2013. Clearly, the 3G and 4G internet market is on the rise. This fact, teamed with the arrival of fibre-optic broadband (which does not require a landline, due to using different cables) will force many customers to question if they actually need a home phone. At present, most home consumers only have a landline installed to enable them to access the internet – the inclusion of a home phone subscription within this package is an irrelevant extra. In addition to this, most mobile operators now offer comprehensive packages that include substantial minutes. Certain providers even include unlimited calls with certain plans. So, using this data, it would not be unreasonable to presume that the number of ‘mobile only’ households is set to rise. This because mobiles are becoming more comprehensive communicative tools – they can do it all. Furthermore, many modern mobile phones come with internet tethering technology built in. Essentially, what this means is that the phone can act as a WiFi router, allowing other devices to use its internet.   As mobile technology improves and mobile internet speeds continue to improve, it would not be surprising to see consumers use their mobile for everything. However, for this to possible, network coverage has to be reliable, which is a real issue at the moment. 4G technology will certainly improve this, but we are still a long way from achieving the ‘universal coverage’ that mobile providers dream of. Mobile repeating technology can assist with this, especially if you live in a poor coverage area. house INSTALLATION_4G Investing in a mobile repeater could save you money in the long run, particularly if the only reason you have a landline is for internet and calls and you live in an area with poor network coverage. A repeater would drastically improve the signal around your home, allowing you to fully embrace the mobile internet and calls trend that is sweeping over most of the world, without having to worry about having reliable 3G or 4G coverage. The days of landline usage by home consumers is limited, so let Stelladoradus connect you to the mobile revolution.

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