Death of the Landline Phone

Do you prefer the cell phone to a landline connection? Ever wondered if the landline phone will survive in the wake of services offered by the wireless technology? Read on to understand if the landline phone will soon become a thing of the past.
| Friday, April 03, 2009

Remember the last time you called someone on their landline phone? Perhaps you no longer feel the need to use the landline anymore, particularly since the cell phone has now permeated almost every single household. No one would blame you for this. Wireless technology has revolutionised communication in its entirety. And if the current trend continues then perhaps the landline phone will become a forgotten ghost of technology folklore.

The invention of the landline phone was a remarkable turning point in technology. A simple device with a switch to connect to and disconnect from a network, a speaker and a microphone allowed people to communicate with incredible ease. In a short time the landline was used in every single house. With the advent of cell phones however the picture drastically changed. According to current statistics around 75 percent of population in the US and Europe has taken benefit of wireless communication. This use of wireless communication is soon slated to rise up to 100 percent in some European countries. Till late 2007 as many as 16 percent of the population in the US did not have a landline phone as against 5 percent in 2004 that did not take benefit of a landline connection. It is expected that in the coming 10 years almost half of the households in the US would do away with their landline connection at this rate. In New York alone landline users have reduced by almost 55 percent since 2000. Another study also shows that the majority of people using landlines belong to the lower income groups.

There are many reasons that can be attributed to the slow death of the landline phone. Most important among these is the fact that cell phones, VoIP and other services such as WiFi save money for the user in the long run. These services are also convenient since they allow people mobility while communicating. Perhaps this has prompted some major companies to give cell phones to their employees and do away with the landline facilities in their offices. Some other companies have restricted the use of landline phones to emergency situations. Also another reason for the death of the landline is the fact that getting a landline connection can prove to be a cumbersome experience since it involves laying cables. Many companies have around 85 percent of their business being conducted wirelessly. Giving up on the landline mode of communication can mean no more of those horrendous telephones poles and any unsightly wires and expensive switching stations. Wireless communication allows for a wide variety of services and features that can be accessed through the cell phone depending on the variations in the models. As against this most landline phones have nominal designs.

However not all is lost for the landline phone and its usage. Even though VoIP and cell phones are quite popular there are some issues surrounding these devices that need to be resolved for them to completely take over the place of landline phones. Even now coverage is often an issue with most cell phones and security is another pressing concern. It is easier for a hacker to access a conversation on cell phones or one through VoIP than through a traditional landline phone. Even though wireless technology has helped the business it can be an expensive proposition particularly where international calls are required to be made. Though the quality of communication through wireless technology has improved since its discovery even now it is far from ideal and cannot really compare to the quality that can be experienced through a landline phone. Cell phones are also regarded as something of a hindrance to business and work and employers might be concerned with people spending far too much time in unnecessary communication rather than concentrating on the core business needs. This may just force employers to show a preference to this traditional mode of communication. Also it is difficult to locate the origin of a phone where the call is made through wireless communication to emergency services. A landline can be used effectively even with a situation of major power failure whereas for a cell phone that is not properly charged, communication becomes almost impossible.

Maybe it will take some time before the landline phone is completely discarded and some loyalists may continue to use the landline phone but with more and more people walking on the wireless path the landline phones might just be a thing of the past.   

   
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