Shaun Mccran

My digital playground


Is it the end of the road for the telephone landline?

OFCOM recently published this year's communications market report detailing digital trends and usage amongst different age groups. [Link]

There report starts off with a particularly punch quote:

"As a result of growing up in the digital age, 12-15 year olds are developing fundamentally different communication habits than older generations, even compared to the advanced 16-24 age group."

It goes on to explain how its children leading the digital revolution with mass adoption of online applications and channels.

The following graph shows the 'weekly exposure to devices':

One thing that this report does highlight is that over the generations surveyed landline telephone usage is on the decline. This raises some interesting questions, and a few intriguing possibilities.

I put a an example case to you:

When I was a child the Landline was the ONLY telephone in the house. Now it's pretty much an ornament as modern mobile contracts tend to come with so many inclusive minutes that I only ever use the landline for premium numbers that are free on that over the mobile. All of the adults in the house have thousands of inclusive minutes. Why would they ever use the landline? Despite that I still pay a month fixed line fee though, but the actual usage bill is regularly in the pence cost bracket.

The OFCOM report is showing exactly this behaviour in children. Mobile usage is massively up, for a number of reasons, such as barriers to entry lowering, i.e. handset costs and contract allowances, and increased stability and speed in mobile networks means that the quality of service is always improving. Just search for 4G coverage in the UK.

What are the reasons for having a landline?

So why do people still have landlines?

  • 1. The first reason is to make calls.
  • 2. The second reason is because of other over-the-top services such as broadband and TV services
  • 3. The third is as a bundled product. Often service providers will cut you a discount for taking many products instead of just one. For example if I remove my landline from my Virgin Media bundle I'll actually pay MORE for not having it.

So what is the Landline used for now?

So realistically that leaves the second reason as the most valid. Some providers are still using the landline for TV broadcasting or device communications rather than their satellite network (I'm looking at you Sky). But doesn't that seem counter intuitive? Having to have a landline to support increasingly bandwidth hungry Hi-definition TV channels? What the OFCOM report shows is that the newest generations of our society don't use a landline at all. When they come of age as to be moving into their own homes and having the conversations with service providers about 'requiring a landline because you have TV' there is going to be a serious customer backlash.

Death of the landline

So I'm predicting that he landline has to find another purpose. Or its Dead. It's not good enough to be in a bundle of service, or to merely be a cost differentiator. It has to do something. Otherwise 'digital natural selection' will occur and Broadband and satellite comms will consume it.

It will follow the usual pattern of decline in as much as customer uptake will drop, meaning that the cost will rise. Suddenly all the cost and effort in dropping new lines into new housing estates and renewing old lines will start to look like a bad expenditure to the big telecoms companies. The landline will price itself out of the market, and investment in it will shrink.

You just watch. Next years annual OFCOM report will show even less landline usage in the youth generation.

Gary F's Gravatar Importantly a wired landline is the only way to make an emergency call when there's a major power cut and your mobile needs charging. Land lines are self-powered. Mobile phone masts have a limited backup power source and they will fall back to 2G to conserve power.

90% of calls to my landline are sales or fraud related and there's nothing I or BT can do about it. (TPS is worthless) If it wasn't for the above reason I would ditch my landline right now.
# Posted By Gary F | 14/08/14 15:21
mobogenie's Gravatar Thanks for all your information, Website is very nice and informative content.
i like play game <a href=>clickjogos</...; online free and apply <a href=>baixar facebook</a> online free and apply <a href=>baixar mobogenie</a> online free
# Posted By mobogenie | 26/07/15 20:57
facebookentrar's Gravatar You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here. |
# Posted By facebookentrar | 07/08/15 02:34
ramlal's Gravatar We work stupendously, round the clock to get the best available services for you. With us, the right solution is always a click away. We are not promoting anyone for no reason, but we work candidly to help our users get the most promising services. There is never a false commitment for anything we claim. The Listings we provide are based upon the quality statistics that we try achieving and optimizing thereby getting the best Search results for you.
# Posted By ramlal | 11/09/15 05:42
elmapeter099's Gravatar A well treated and fully justified post.
# Posted By elmapeter099 | 09/10/15 03:46
amazon gift cards's Gravatar I will be a frequent website visitor for a long
# Posted By amazon gift cards | 12/10/15 02:00
obat hepatitis b kronis's Gravatar I read this post. Very funny post. I really like it. Running competition is the best competition. Running is the important part of human life
# Posted By obat hepatitis b kronis | 26/10/15 07:07
glucoblock capsule's Gravatar Glucoblock Capsule adalah obat diabetes herbal terbaru yang telah terbukti AMPUH menyembuhkan penyakit diabetes ( gula darah / kencing manis ) dan merupakan satu-satunya produk herbal diabetes yang paling direkomendasikan oleh para dokter dan ahli kesehatan dunia.
# Posted By glucoblock capsule | 30/10/15 21:31
cara menghilangkan mata berlemak secara alami's Gravatar Thank you for such a well written article. It’s full of insightful information and entertaining descriptions. Your point of view is the best among many.
Viva Video's Gravatar You can download video editing software from viva video download for pc at" target="_blank"> and can get viva video download application at Source
# Posted By Viva Video | 06/11/15 06:23
obat ginjal alami herbal's Gravatar Wonderful post which contains very useful information for bloggers. No doubt all the points which you mention in this article are great.
# Posted By obat ginjal alami herbal | 09/11/15 06:43
cccam server's Gravatar Thanks, I think thats a similar problem to what I found, I'm new to ANT so I'm stumbling in the dark a little..
# Posted By cccam server | 17/11/15 00:46
john's Gravatar TV9 Live Streaming – TV9 Kannada, Telugu, Gujarati News   TV9 Kannada Live Streaming – Watch TV9 Online Kannada" target="_blank"> TV9 Telugu Live Streaming – Watch TV9 Live Telugu Free" target="_blank">   TV9 Gujarati Live Online – Watch TV9 Live (Gujarati) Streaming" target="_blank"> Easily avaible
# Posted By john | 20/11/15 05:05
Bathroom Plumbing's Gravatar Thanks, I think thats a similar problem to what I found, I'm new to ANT so I'm stumbling in the dark a little.
# Posted By Bathroom Plumbing | 22/11/15 23:52
cccam server's Gravatar It goes on to explain how its children leading the digital revolution with mass adoption of online ..
# Posted By cccam server | 25/11/15 02:29
Kelowna Homes for Sale's Gravatar Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information.
# Posted By Kelowna Homes for Sale | 26/11/15 00:15
Back to top