Ofcom Research: Use Of Landline Phones Drop By Half As Mobile Data Use Rises Tenfold


    According to a research that was conducted by Ofcom, the use of landline telephones has been halved in the past six years while mobile data has risen by tenfold during the same period. It also suggests that remembering phone numbers could soon be considered to only be a part of history.

    The number of minutes of calls that were made from a landline has dramatically decreased throughout the years, from the 103 billion that was recorded in 2012 to 54 billion in 2017.

    During the same period, the number of mobile phone call minutes rose from 132.1 billion to 148.6 billion as smartphones have cemented their dominance increasingly.

    The average monthly mobile data usage was nearly ten times higher in 2017 as compared to that of 2012, increasing from 0.2 gigabytes to 1.9 gigabytes over the six-year-period with social media and messaging apps becoming increasingly popular.

    As part of the said research, a cross-section of consumers, including 14 focus groups were interviewed by Ofcom.

    The research that was conducted by Ofcom also explained that there is a generational divide when it comes to understanding the area codes from landline numbers, with the older people more likely to instantly recognize whether a number is local to them and can be trusted.

    The head of numbering at Ofcom, Liz Greenberg, stated: “Some of us can remember a time when we stored phone numbers in our head, rather than our mobile. But the way we use and feel about telephone numbers is changing.”

    She added: “In the future, as more calls are made over broadband, dialling codes won’t need to be fixed to a particular part of the country. So the question is – could area codes become a thing of the past?”

    Ofcom is searching for some ways on how to better manage the landline numbers, particularly those that are used for business purposes.