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Author Topic: Ofcom Moot Phone Number for Life as Broadband Changes UK Calling  (Read 554 times)


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New research from Ofcom has today suggested that remembering phone numbers Ė or even needing to dial them Ė could soon become a thing of the past as consumers are changing how they communicate and making greater use of broadband internet and mobile services. The landline phone era is slowly coming to an end.

Last yearís Communications and Market Report 2018 (CMR) has already done a good job of highlighting this change. Back in 2012 UK people made a total of 103 billion minutes of landline calls, which has fallen to just 54 million in 2017. Over the same period mobile call minutes have increased from 132.1 billion to 148.6 billion, while the average personís monthly mobile data usage has soared from 0.2 GigaBytes to 1.9 GB.

Now a new qualitative study from Ofcom, which is based on feedback from 14 focus groups and 8 in-depth interviews amongst a cross-section of consumers and businesses across all four UK nations, has confirmed a number of interesting findings about how we all use communication services.

    Key Findings of the Study

    * Younger people prefer to use messaging services, such as WhatsApp, rather than use their phones to talk. As one 18-year-old from Aberdeen said: ďCalling someone is a bit daunting. Itís much easier and quicker to WhatsApp my friends. If I have to call a company, Iíll always try to use webchat if itís available.Ē

    * Older people still prefer having a conversation. A 68-year-old participant from Belfast said: ďI prefer to speak to a person. You can get a better understanding.Ē

    * People now rely on contact numbers stored in their phones, as opposed to dialling the number directly each time. Itís now common to click on a name or web link on your mobile to call a number, rather than manually dial it.

    * Young and Old people have different understandings of geographic area codes. Younger people generally donít feel strongly about whether area codes represent a particular location and many donít even know that area codes have geographic significance (many mistake them for other numbers or associate with nuisance callers), while most older people recognise what area codes are and trust the codes local to them.

None of this is particularly new or surprising and weíve already reported on how itís impacting the way broadband ISPs and network suppliers operate. For example, at present Openreach (BT) supplies a copper phone line or bundles it with broadband, although the latter is considered somewhat of an optional extra (i.e. you get the phone service first and then broadband). Even though most of us only take a landline for broadband.

In the future Openreachís approach will be reversed as they move from analogue to Internet Protocol (IP) / VoIP based communications, which means that broadband will become the primary service you buy and phone (voice calling) is the optional extra. A lot of fixed wireless and full fibre (FTTP) broadband ISPs already do this since they cannot deliver an analogue phone on the same line (e.g. optical fibres carry data in laser light, while older copper lines use electrical signals).
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Re: Ofcom Moot Phone Number for Life as Broadband Changes UK Calling
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 12:21:38 PM »

There already is a phone number for life available using 070 numbers. However the charges for people calling them range from unexpected to fraudulent. To be fair Ofcom is doing something about that.