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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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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." :)

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