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End of the fixed line as mobiles rule the world
01 December 2004
You know it, but if you're in the fixed-line business you hardly dare admit it. People are dropping their fixed phone lines and just using their mobiles. It's even happening at work — in Nokia, anyway. Geoff Nairn looks at this growing trend
It started as a dinner-party
anecdote but now it is a full-blown market trend. More and more
people have largely abandoned the traditional fixed-line phone
in favour of their mobile phone to stay in touch.
This trend, called fixed-mobile
substitution, is great news for the mobile operators, but it
potentially threatens the very existence of fixed-line
incumbents that cannot adapt. "It may take ten years or it may
take 15 years, but the PSTN will vanish," says Mikko J
Salminen, Nokia's director of fixed-mobile substitution.
Nokia has a vested interest in
hastening the decline of fixed-line telephony, of course. But
independent analysts are equally pessimistic.
"The prospects for traditional
voice telephony look bleak," says Katja Ruud of the Gartner
According to Forrester Research, calls from fixed phones to
local and national phone numbers have been declining
year-on-year in the UK since 1999. The analyst says
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