“Ringing landline causes utter panic”, Daily Mash reports

Residential voice calls are declining at a remarkable rate, so much so that few even use their phones these days. If the residential landline is dying, then the fixed business line is sure to follow. It’s time to help your customers to make the transition, by offering compelling reasons to move to mobile for their business.

Satirical online publication the Daily Mash isn’t known for its commentary on the telecoms industry, but a recent report rang some bells for us. “Ringing landline causes utter panic” may raise a smile, but it also raises a serious point. The use of residential landlines has shown consistent decline in recent years. Indeed, the UK regulator, Ofcom, notes in its annual “Communications Market Report” from 2017 that, while the number of fixed line connections remained relatively constant between 2011 and 2016 at just over 33 million, the number of fixed voice minutes declined from 111 billion to 65 billion in the same period.

At the same time, the number of mobile voice minutes actually grew – from 131 billion to 151 billion – and that despite gloomy prognostication regarding the surging popularity of peer-2-peer mobile IP communications services. Clearly, people are switching to mobile for voice calls, irrespective of whether they use an operator delivered, native service, or whether they use an alternative application. If the decline continues at the same rate, fixed line minutes will be history in a decade or so.

So, our fictional family has every reason to be surprised. For many, the fixed line is simply something that comes bundled with a broadband subscription – and is increasingly marginal to their experience with their service provider. No wonder they were surprised.

The same is increasingly true of business. While some companies continue to invest in fixed lines, it’s reasonable to ask for how long they will continue to do so? If mobile first is the approach that dominates in residential markets, how long will it take for this behaviour to ripple through to the business world? It’s already happened in Scandinavia and we anticipate that it’s only a matter of time before it comes to dominate in other countries, particularly those that have essentially skipped the fixed world and have moved straight to mobile.

That’s why mobile service providers should be launching compelling mobile-first offers for their business customers. By doing so, they can both save costs (eliminate fixed line charges) while also delivering value added capabilities (such as mobile PBX and UC). So, it’s time to listen to the market. Human behaviour being what it is, if the landline is slowly dying in the home, it’s sure to die in the business world too. Why not anticipate this trend and take the step to focus on business mobile and the enhanced value you can deliver? Talk to Gintel to find out more.

UC, Unified Communications, Mobile PBX, Daily Mash, landline, residential landline, fixed line

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