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Telephony - Losing its importance?

Blog looking at the importance of telephony - is it decreasing?

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Update
I see the BBC have written an article about local government testing with no telephony. You can see it here:

The Slow Death of Landline Phones

This quote particularly caught my attention:

"Having a landline is about having a commitment to place as much as anything," says Mr Highmore, himself speaking from a landline phone. "Mobile phones are about mobility in a much deeper sense than just convenience. It's about not being rooted in the same way as a landline, which gives a feeling of stability."

I’d not considered that landlines/mobiles had an emotional element to them!

It’s also interesting to see the ratio of people with internet access but no Landline.

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 19.03.00

Now those figures are from 2007 - I’d love to know what they are today? Interesting times indeed.

Original Article
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Over the last week I’ve been sorting out my mobile phone contract. Traditionally I’ve used a lot of airtime - my contract gives me 1200 minutes per month in the package and I’d more often than not break that 1200 barrier.

That’s a lot of use isn’t it? Nearly 3 working days.

Anyway, I’ve been re-assessing my contract as my mobile telephony has plummeted. I average now a few hundred minutes a month. This got me thinking - is telephony losing some of its importance?

I suppose a better way to word my question would ‘Is telephony losing some of its prominence?’.

It seems to me now that the majority of my communication with my colleagues and clients is done via Instant Messaging, on-line collaboration, Email and then last in the list telephony.

How different is that to just a few years ago?

I know there are a lot of industries where this isn’t true - telephony for certain cases will always be the primary contact technology. Help-desks, call-centres etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d really struggle without my mobile telephony however I suspect a lot of my use has been supplanted by other technology. Also of course some situations are best dealt with by voice - there’s a certain immediacy to a phone call.

On the immediacy front though I have to say that incoming telephone calls can be disruptive to your work flow - especially if you don’t know who is calling and what about. I’ve written about that bit previously here:

Unknown Number Rage

The other interesting thing on the telephony front is the demise of the land line. I only have land-lines for a couple of ADSL services. For the last few years I’ve not even had a phone plugged in to the socket as I never used the land line for telephony.

If I look through my contact list for my friends I don’t have a single home number for anybody - it’s always their mobile.

It’s an interesting and challenging time for communications technology I think. It’s also quite exciting - the opportunities around the emerging technologies are simply fantastic in my opinion.


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