British telecom regulator Ofcom dishes out a ‘Communication Market Report’ every year. The report gives an idea of different trends in the telecom sector of UK and how they shape year over year. This year, the report from Ofcom details the telecom trends in UK and some of them are quite surprising. For instance, for the first time, the volume of voice-calls made from mobiles has dropped, while mobile messaging is still in an upward trend.
A closer look at the report, however, reveals that this trend is not that surprising after all. With the immense popularity of texts (SMS) as well as social media among the youth, the need to make calls has diminished significantly.
Since a few years, the volume of calls made over fixed-line or landline connections has been on a decline. But that was understandable since mobile communication was rapidly replacing fixed-line as the main mode of voice calls. And now, it seems that the social media is effectively replacing the mobile voice-calls.
During the year 2011, there was a drop of one percent in the overall time spent on calls over mobile phones, according to the report. Meanwhile, the volume of voice-calls over landline dropped by a whopping 10 percent during the same time. Another significant aspect of the telecom sector is that for the first time now, mobile phone calls account for a greater volume as compared to overall landline calls. During 2011, mobile phone calls accounted for 52 percent of the total calls made.
The chief faction that is driving this change is that of youngsters. About 96 percent of 16 – 24 year olds use some kind of text-based application through which they communicate with their social circle, effectively reducing the importance of voice calls.
According to Ofcom research director, “Our research reveals that in just a few short years, new technology has fundamentally changed the way that we communicate. Talking face to face or on the phone are no longer the most common ways for us to interact with each other. In their place, newer forms of communications are emerging which don’t require us to talk to each other — especially among younger age groups. This trend is set to continue as technology advances and we move further into the digital age.”