Print 27 comment(s) - last by hansolo2.. on May 11 at 2:17 PM

Recession cited as accelerant for migration from land line to mobile

Cellular phones have become so common that virtually all adults in the U.S. have them. In fact, many children in the U.S. have them even in grade school. In the poor global economy, some consumers are facing a choice between landlines and their cell phones and many of them are choosing the latter.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that for the first time ever the number of households with cell phones only outnumbers those that have traditional landlines. The switch is reportedly accelerated by the recession. According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20% of households had only sell phone since the last half of 2008.

That number represents a growth of almost 3% since data on cellular use started being gathered in 2003. In 2003, 43% of the homes in America had landlines.

Stephen Blumberg, author of the CDC report said, "We do expect that with the recession, we'd see an increase in the prevalence of wireless only households, above what we might have expected had there been no recession."

The report also found that 15% of homes have both a landline and cell phones, but they take no calls on their landlines. The reason for this is phone lines dedicated to internet access via dial-up or DSL and fax machine use. When the number of cellular-only households and the number with cell and landlines who don’t use the landline are combined, a full 35% of households in America are wireless only.

The AP reports that the reason this is significant is for pollsters who have used landlines for years to gather data. With more people moving to mobile phone sonly and current legislation preventing pollsters from using computers  to dial mobile phone numbers.

The age of people in the household contributes to whether the home is wireless only. According to the report, a third of people 18 to 24 live in homes with cell phones only. Four in ten people age 25 to 29 are in cell phone only homes according to the report. The most likely people to live in wireless only homes are the poor, renters, Hispanics, Southerners, Midwesterners, and those living with unrelated adults.

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The reasons I still have a land line...
By mydogfarted on 5/7/2009 12:45:39 PM , Rating: 1
1) 911 without having to register it.
2) Like having an e-mail address for registering for websites, when I need to give out a number I know will get sold to a marketing firm.
3) It basically costs me nothing when bundled with TV and Internet.

By bissimo on 5/7/2009 12:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
At where I live (Dallas) e911 is an integral part of my cell service, does not need to be signed up for, and cannot be deactivated.

I hadn't had a land line for years until recently. I got it bundled for free w/TV and Internet. After getting bombarded with telemarketing calls, I tried to get it disconnected. The provider (Verizon) actually gave me a $30/month discount if I wouldn't disconnect it. I now just have the ringer turned off and use it for long calls.

RE: The reasons I still have a land line...
By Spivonious on 5/7/2009 1:17:59 PM , Rating: 3
1. I thought 911 on a cell was based off of the position of the phone?
2. In PA at least, we have a "do not call" list, which works very well.
3. What happens when the promo deal runs out? I have 500 minute/month Vonage and it only costs me $15+taxes. The most minutes I've ever used in the past two years was about 150.

RE: The reasons I still have a land line...
By bissimo on 5/7/2009 2:16:04 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, I got on the national "do not call" list. It's a joke. Most companies just have their number blocked and won't tell you their company's name when you inquire, so you can't report them. Also, non-profits are exempt. Don't get me wrong, most non-profits do great work, but if I want to donate, I'll do it myself.
I pay $65/month for 200 TV channels w/DVR (no HD), broadband, and unlimited US, Canada and Mexico calling. The $30/month discount expires in six months. When the time comes, I'll just call again and try to get the landline disconnected.
TV and Internet alone would have cost me $90/month.

By FITCamaro on 5/7/2009 5:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't gotten a telemarketing call for the most part in years and I'm on it.

I have no need for a landline. Don't really know how a landline gets you an email address(from OP)....

RE: The reasons I still have a land line...
By bplewis24 on 5/7/2009 2:42:13 PM , Rating: 5
Reason I still have a land line: so when I lose my cell phone around the house I can call it. Best $30/month I ever spent!

/possibly sarcasm


RE: The reasons I still have a land line...
By Samus on 5/7/2009 5:51:14 PM , Rating: 3
I have a landline to send and receive faxes. I need it for my DSL anyway, and it only costs me $14/month for 60 calls.

By ThePooBurner on 5/7/2009 9:49:06 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible to have DSL without a phoneline. AT&T calls it DSL direct. Kind of like how you can have cable, or cable internet, or both. It uses a different frequency than the phone portion does so the 1 is not dependent on the other.

More like common sense..
By Alphafox78 on 5/7/2009 12:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
This is just common sense, why would you need a home line if everyone in your home has a cell? I suppose the recession could be a factor, but $30 for a land line is $30, reguardless of any recession.. I prefer to keep my $$.

RE: More like common sense..
By Alphafox78 on 5/7/2009 12:42:26 PM , Rating: 3
I hate how everyone blames 'the recession' if sales are off. the MPAA must love the fact they can blame 'the recession' on slowing sales along with piracy! There could be a real reason why sales are down, as in your product sucks or no one needs 4x phone lines...

By theapparition on 5/8/2009 10:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
Good point. For example, I read that this year is on track to become the largest grossing ever for the movie industry. Coincidentally, this is one of the few years where a slew of good movies is being released.

Make a good product and people will buy it. Go figure!!!

RE: More like common sense..
By FITCamaro on 5/7/2009 6:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well when the day comes and I have kids, I'll have a landline for them to use. Sorry but I don't believe in giving a 10 year old a cell phone. They'll get one when I'm not driving them everywhere.

RE: More like common sense..
By Lazarus Dark on 5/8/2009 9:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Since moving out of the parents house back in '99, I have never owned a land line. Got a cell phone then and never needed a land line since. Why would you? I don't even understand why people still use them except buisinesses.

Wireless-Only Versus Landline-Only
By ViRGE on 5/7/2009 12:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
It probably should be noted that while the topic implies that there are more wireless-only households than landline households period, this is not the case. From the stats in TFA:

Cell-Only: 20%
Landline-Only: 17% (this was 43% in 2003)
Have landlines and can be reached on them: 65%
Have landlines and can't be reached on them: 15%

This means that the one number that's not in the article must be...

Have landlines: 80%

Landline use is still alive and well, although it is shrinking.

RE: Wireless-Only Versus Landline-Only
By johnsonx on 5/7/2009 12:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
yes, I noticed that too. The numbers in the article don't match with the title at all. I half expected it to be a Jason Mick article after I saw that, but then the usual three paragraphs made up of unrelated links were absent. Oh, sorry, Mick-bashing is SO 2008....

By amanojaku on 5/7/2009 12:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, sorry, Mick-bashing is SO 2008....
Since when is bashing a person who sets himself up for it out of style? Sorry, Jason, but you ask for it. A LOT.

What is the definition of "landline?"
By bakerzdosen on 5/7/2009 12:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
Does the definition of landline include VOIP?

I've found that VOIP is an excellent balance between price and "performance" in that regard. I don't want to give up the benefits of a landline - especially the benefit of not having to give out my cell number to everyone that need a phone number - including friends of our kids. That alone is worth $25/month to me.

By tedrodai on 5/7/2009 2:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
My wife and I are moving in the next couple of weeks, so we're debating whether to get a landline or not. We currently have both wireless and landline, but there's really only 2 reasons we use the landline:

1) Our spam-catcher--we give the number to companies as the 'home phone number', etc. We have an answering machine and caller-ID, so anyone with legitimate business/concerns can indeed reach us at that number. However, the only time we ever pick up the reciever is to order pizza or the like, IF that.

2) Emergency use--if for any reason we don't have access to cell phone service, this is a backup. In addition to any other reason, we might need this, my wife works in the medical field and her job requires that she can be reached quickly.

I can add another wireless line for $10 that would take care of concern #1 up there, and we wouldn't need extra minutes. With a cheap phone, that would definitely save a lot of money over the landline. We'll just have to figure out if concern #2 is still a reason for us to get a landline-whether it's VOIP or original recipe.

By jhb116 on 5/8/2009 1:38:21 AM , Rating: 2
We have Vonage as well. The Vonage service has been pretty good, however, the Cox Internet service we have is crap. The problem with VOIP is that when the I-net is down - your phone is down too. This means you have to burn minutes on your cell to troubleshoot the I-net service. There is also the problem in a power outage - phone usually still works where I-net services are usually down (unless your house or I-net components are on some kind of back-up power/UPS).

Next house - we'll be getting a regular land line or putting the I-net troubleshooting number in our "Fav 5." :)

By mrp0379 on 5/7/2009 4:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
Why exactly is the Center for Disease Control performing a survey on phone usage again?

By hansolo2 on 5/11/2009 2:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, someone explain that for us.

By Kougar on 5/10/2009 9:40:07 PM , Rating: 3
20% of households had only sell phone since the last half of 2008.

That might explain the number of cell phone accessories found on ebay.

Easy answer
By Spivonious on 5/7/2009 1:15:46 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt the recession has anything to do with it.

Family of four, they all have cell phones, costs $100/month.

One line through Vonage, $24.95/month. If you can get by with 500 minutes a month, it's only $15.

Easy choice there plus you don't have to worry about your kids "sexting", going over minutes, talking while driving, etc.

Landline not needed
By Cheap Chick on 5/7/2009 6:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
I dumped my land line last year and now have only a cell phone. But I went a step further and got a Tracfone and pay upfront for use. It’s much more cost-effective and the service is fine.

The only reason I’d kept my landline was to send faxes but I do that on the Internet now, so who needs a landline?

Plus I have no contract anymore for my phone and the quality is great.

Verizon stinks
By fishman on 5/8/2009 6:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
We have Verizon as the landline provider. We mainly use it for DSL. Verizon pushes the idea that they have great cell phone service by showing large crowds of service people backing you up in their commercials. It doesn't seem to extend to other parts of the company - when our phone line went out we were told it will take two and a half weeks to get someone to fix it (it's still out). Sadly, my only other choices are cable (Comcast - haha), and fios (another Verizon product).

I'll never give up my landline
By LordConrad on 5/8/2009 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
I only use my cellphone when I'm away from home. If a landline is available, I will always use it instead of my cell (except payphones). I'm not comfortable with having a radio transmitter that close to my head. I have a bluetooth headset, but I never use it unless I have to. Call me paranoid if you wish, but I've seen studies on cellphone emissions that go both ways. Not even the scientists can agree if long term exposure is safe. Remember how long it took them to tell us about the link between smoking and cancer?

Cell-only vs landline-only
By innest on 5/9/2009 3:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's a very real trend I see among my friends and family, though. Only two out of the 30+ people that I can think of right now have landlines. The rest, like myself, have only the cell. I also used to be concerned about the reliability of my cell because the reception was really not that great even in my home. About a year and a half ago I changed to the NET10 prepaid service and my reception was a lot better. During this time I made 2 emergency calls (for other people) and both times had no problem. So I decided to let go of the landline which was not being used anyway. The only calls I ever received on it were from telemarketers.

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