Cell Phone Usage Overtakes Landlines in the US

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Wireless telephone subscribers in the USA now spend on average more minutes talking on their cellphones than they do on traditional landline phones according to the Yankee Group's latest quarterly Wireless Mobile North American Carrier Tracker.

Mobile phone use has been growing rapidly--with the average U.S. subscriber logging 490 minutes of use (MOU) per month--and surpassed residential landline use during 4th quarter of 2002. The Yankee Group estimates average household landline voice usage of 1,250 minutes per month. This is equivalent to 480 minutes per person each month, based on the U.S. Census estimate of an average of 2.6 people per household.

"More than half of us who have cellphones use them as our primary device for private voice communication," says Keith Mallinson, Yankee Group executive vice president of wireless and mobile research. "There's a lot of talk about people giving up their landlines entirely--we estimate 10 percent of young urban adults are doing so--but cord cutters currently only account for a small percentage of the total population. This trend will increase when wireless number portability (WNP) enables landline numbers to be ported to cellphones. Until then, the big issue is the major migration of called minutes from landlines to cellphones."

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