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Cell Phone Only

Two studies show that we’re heading ofr a tipping point on cell phones and landlines.
Study Says 17% of Americans Use Only Cell Phones
News release: “A new study from The Nielsen Company says that more than 20 million U.S. telephone households (17 percent) are wireless substitutors — homes without landlines that rely solely on a mobile phone for their home telecommunications.”
Wireless Substitutors Use More Mobile Minutes, but Still Save Money
New York, NY and San Francisco, CA — A new study from The Nielsen Company says that more than 20 million U.S. telephone households (17 percent) are wireless substitutors—homes without landlines that rely solely on a mobile phone for their home telecommunications.
The new research is from Nielsen Mobile, a service of The Nielsen Company, and suggests that one in five U.S. households could be wireless-only by the end of 2008.
As the U.S. economy tightens and consumers look for ways to cut household spending, many are eyeing that landline phone bill, which averages $40 per month per landline household. In addition to the universe of U.S. wireless substitutors, Nielsen’s study reports that:
U.S. cord cutters tend to have lower income-levels—59 percent have household incomes of $40,000 or less
Smaller households, with just one or two residents, are more likely to cut the cord than larger households
Moving or changing jobs are the biggest life events associated with cord cutting: 31 percent of cord cutters moved prior to cord cutting and 22 percent changed jobs
Wireless substitutors tend to use their mobile phones more than their landline peers, 45 percent more per phone, but still save an average $33 per month in a household of one subscriber, less $6.69 for each additional wireless resident, when they cut the cord
“As wireless network quality improves and unlimited calling becomes increasingly pervasive, we expect the trend toward wireless substitution to continue,” said Alison LeBreton, vice president of client services for Nielsen Mobile. “In a tightening economy every dollar counts, and consumers are more and more comfortable with the idea of ditching their landline connection.”
Wireless substitution doesn’t work for everyone. Ten percent of landline phone customers have experimented with wireless-only in their household, but then returned to landline service. Nielsen reports that needing a landline for another service (security system, satellite TV, pay-per-view, fax machine, etc.) is the primary reason people mend the cord.
“Landline wireless substitution may just be the start,” says LeBreton. “As wireless data networks improve and speeds become more and more competitive with broadband, some consumers may cut the Internet cord, as well, favoring wireless data cards and other access through carrier networks.”
The full paper, “Call My Cell: Wireless Substitution in the United States” is available today from Nielsen Mobile. A free download can be found in the Mobile section of The Nielsen Company’s new blog, Nielsen Wire, at
About Nielsen Mobile
Nielsen Mobile, a service of The Nielsen Company, is the world’s largest independent provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets. Nielsen Mobile focuses exclusively on tracking the behavior, attitudes and experiences of mobile consumers; their reports also provide up to seven years of data on Internet, video, gaming, audio and advertising trends for mobile phone users. Nielsen’s technology-driven research provides unique and holistic insight into how mobile customers use their devices and what they think about brands, devices and services. For more information, please visit
About The Nielsen Company
The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit
Nic Covey
News Release:
JupiterResearch Forecasts Wireless Subscriber Growth Will Slow Due to Market Saturation Between 2008 and 2013

(New York, NY, August 11, 2008) – JupiterResearch, a leading authority on the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on business, has found that wireless subscriber growth is slowing due to market saturation, with US carriers adding only 26 million new subscribers in the next five years to reach 266 million in 2013. Adoption by teens and young adults will become nearly ubiquitous as the majority of the demographic already have cell phones, and 31 percent of parents with children ages 10 to 12 reported that their children also have cell phones.
According to a new JupiterResearch report, “US Wireless Forecast, 2008 to 2013: Reaching the Tipping Point for Mobile Data Services,” cell phones are evolving from a one-to-one communication platform into a one-to-many platform as online users migrate toward social networks as a center of communication. Although this transition is just beginning, its impact on the mobile data market is significant.
Data access fees will soon represent the bulk of non-messaging data revenue for carriers. Sales of devices that are optimized for more than voice, and targeted toward consumers with lower price points, improved browsing experiences, and access to social networking services are on the rise. Moreover, widgets will become standard on basic feature phones, enabling users to engage with the Internet while avoiding the challenges of browsing on a small screen.
“Devices like the iPhone that now offer faster network speeds and unlimited data plans at affordable prices will drive adoption of data plans within the next five years,” explained Julie Ask, Vice President, Research Director and Lead Author of the report for JupiterResearch. “The associated revenue of nearly $16 billion in 2013 will represent the largest portion of overall consumer data revenue.”
According to David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch, “Consumers’ increasing desire to access social applications such as Facebook on their cell phones, coupled with flat-rate pricing plans, will give carriers the opportunity to capitalize on this revenue shift.”
The complete findings of this report are immediately available to JupiterResearch clients online at For details on JupiterResearch’s methodology, visit or email to request a detailed methodology statement. For additional information on this report or JupiterResearch’s Wireless research service, visit or contact Kieran Kelly, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Client Service, at 1-800-481-1212 or
About JupiterResearch
JupiterResearch provides unbiased research, analysis and advice, backed by proprietary data, to help companies profit from the impact of the Internet and emerging consumer technologies on their business. The company helps online businesses make critical decisions about technology selection, spending, staffing, and Web site effectiveness; advises consumer-facing companies with online advertising, marketing, and customer service strategies to understand, attract, convert and retain customers; and guides technology vendors and service providers on market opportunity, positioning, product definition, and pricing. JupiterResearch is headquartered in New York City and has offices throughout the US and Europe. For more information, visit
Adriane Dean or Pete Arnold
Combined with the recent date on iPhones having significant internet use vs voice call use and we’re seeing the digital device changes as they happen.

Posted on: September 21, 2008, 10:42 pm Category: Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I worked in the cellular industry for about 10 years (1991-2001), and towards the end there was a lot of talk about “landline migration.” When I was at AirTouch — a pure wireless company — we were beginning to do things to encourage that behavior. We’d publish stories in our newsletters about people who had decided to make the switch, etc. AirTouch was bought by Verizon, which is also a landline telephone company; migration talk ended abruptly.