Wednesday, September 15

The Death of the Voice Call?

Now this is something interesting. A popular technology magazine from the US reports a steady decline in the average number of phone calls in the country over the last three years. As per a Nielsen report, the number of phone calls per user hit a peak in 2007. Since then, subscribers seem to have given a thumbs down the voice medium. And what is more worrying is the fact that average minutes of usage per call too has shown a noticeable decline. From three minutes in 2005, it has dropped to 1.5 mins in 2010.


What lies behind this cultural transition? The availability of alternate, more light weight mediums of communication, which include text messaging, chatting and social networking!! Everyone is in constant touch with each other in one way or the other.

Ironically, as these services are being made available by the telecom operators on the mobile, users are getting to prefer texting over the voice call while away from their PCs !

But why this shift? The voice call is seen as more intrusive – an encroachment on the personal space of an individual. Unlike a call, IMs and other texting mediums depict a user’s status, whether one is busy or available for interaction. Users get more time to think about what they want to say in the text mode. So where does the voice call go from here? The study predicts that while the users will make fewer phone calls, the duration of calls is bound to increase as users will reserve the medium exclusively for the deep discussion that it does best.

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