More Households Cutting the Cord

There are More Mobile Users than Landline Users

For the first time since the advent of telephones, the number of households that only use mobile phones has surpassed the number of households who still have landline phone subscriptions. And this information came from a very unlikely source. According to Fortune, this statistic came from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Cell phone repair in Billings, MT

Centers for Disease Control Study Discovers Cell Phone Usage

Apparently, the CDC was conducting a survey to find out what percentage of the population they will be able to contact if they only relied on landline calls. From the 20,000 households they surveyed over a six-month period, what they found was that in the second half of 2016, the number of households who only had mobile phone service was 50.8%. In the previous year, that figure was only 48.3%.

Billings IT Services39.4% of households used both mobile phone service and landline service. 6.5% had landline service only. And 3.2% did not have any kind of phone service.

The figures aren’t totally surprising, though. With advancements in tech, it seems logical that landlines are getting to be redundant and on their way to becoming obsolete. The telecom providers are quite aware of this too. As their revenue from mobile phone sales grew, their revenue from landline phones declined.

In terms of cost, however, there seems to be some kind of inconsistency at play. Considering that maintaining a mobile phone is typically more expensive than maintaining a landline, it’s a bit curious that it’s generally the low income households which rely solely on mobile phone service.

Specifically, the breakdown of those who only use mobile phones are as follows:

Adults living in poverty – 66%; adults living near poverty – 59%; high-income adults – 49%.


Cord cutting is becoming more rampant, and it’s not showing any sign of slowing down…

This nearing extinction of landline phone service is being viewed by many as the first example of ‘cord cutting’, literally and figuratively. It means dropping a wired product and replacing it with a wireless alternative.

Following this trend, the first to go will be landline phones. Then, with more online streaming services becoming available including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, it is highly likely that the next wired service to go will be cable TV service.

And if Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk succeeds with his ambition to provide global internet service by putting more than 4,000 satellites in orbit around the Earth, it will probably lead to the demise of wired internet service.

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What is causing this cord-cutting behavior?

Although cost was obviously not the driving factor in people opting to go for mobile service rather than fixed service, the same might not hold true when it comes to cable TV and wired internet service. Why? Because it’s typically more expensive to subscribe to a wired service than a wireless one. Besides, there’s also the matter of cable or internet service providers forcing their customers to subscribe to bundled packages, which isn’t really an effective way to keep subscribers loyal, especially in light of the internet being able to provide almost everything.

Going wireless also does away with the ‘complications’ that a customer has to go through if the family decides to transfer residences. Plus, those cords and cables can sometimes be eyesores.

Does this mean that everything will eventually become wireless? In a futuristic world, it does seem appropriate, doesn’t it?


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