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article imageMajority of U.S. homes have mobiles but no landline

By Tim Sandle     May 6, 2017 in Technology
Is the idea of a fixed landline and a mobile phone coming to a steady end? A new survey of U.S. homes indicates the majority of households have mobiles but no landline.
The survey comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the headline figure is that just under 51 percent of U.S. homes have at least one mobile phone but do not have a landline. Add to this the figure that just over 3 percent of households have neither a mobile phone or a landline, the proportion of homes without a landline stands at 54.2 percent. This means, according to the BBC's analysis, 123 million adults and some 44 million children live in households with at least one mobile phone but no landline. The most common demographic group who rely far more on smartphones and tablets and who live in homes without a landline are the 25 to 34 year olds. These figures are extrapolated based on a national health survey.
Since the carries out the survey of communication devices every two years the shift away from landlines being connected to the majority of homes to being the minority has occurred within the past two years. The reason the CDC carries out the survey is part of wider health surveillance. Every two years the health agency conducts the National Health Interview Survey and for the survey a residential telephone number is required. A question posed to participants is whether they have ""at least one phone inside [the] home that is currently working and is not a cell phone".
The CDC does not probe as to the reasons why homes have a landline or not, given this is not the purpose the survey. However, the results are of interest in terms of consumer trends and the adoption of different forms of communication. The figures stand in contrast to the U.K., where 78 percent of homes have a landline. The far higher figure in the U.K. relates to the need to receive faster Internet connections, via broadband, down a landline.
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