Voice calls declining in popularity, according to nationwide report

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Ofcom finds texting and using social media on smartphones are replacing traditional forms of communication 

The rise in social media and texting has led to the first ever decline in mobile voice calls in the UK according to Ofcom’s latest market report released today (July 18).

According to the telecoms regulator, the average amount of time spent on voice calls – both on landlines and mobiles – fell by 10 per cent last year, with the volume of mobile phone calls made down by 1 per cent, while the average number of texts sent rose to an average of 50 per person per week.

The report, which investigates the country’s communications habits, also found a swift rise in the penetration of smartphones into the market. The sector showed a 12 per cent rise to now cover almost 40 per cent of the population.

The tablet market also showed a sharp rise in popularity with 11 per cent of UK households owning one in Q1 2012, compared to two per cent in Q1 2011. Ofcom’s research concluded this trend looks set to continue with almost one in five households reporting they intent to buy a tablet in the next year.

Ofcom director of research James Thickett said: “Our research reveals that in just a few short years, new technology has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Talking face-to-face or on the phone are no longer the most common ways for us to interact with each other.

In their place, newer forms of communications are emerging which don’t require us to talk to each other – especially among younger age groups. The trend is set to continue as technology advances and we move further into the digital age.”         

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