The amount of time UK citizens spent making phone calls from their mobiles fell by 1.1% in 2011, the first time this metric has ever declined, according to new research from telecommunications watchdog Ofcom.
Ofcom’s annual Communications Market report tracks the communications habits of UK residents and their impact on the industry.
Text messaging has become the primary medium of communication in the UK, it found, with 58% of adults reporting that they text friends or family at least once a day. UK residents send an average of 200 text messages per month, up 17% from 2010.
Both mobile and fixed-line phone calls fell in volume, and the telecommunications industry’s voice revenues dropped 5% to £8.9 billion.
The increase in mobile and fixed-line data services revenue has yet to compensate from this decline. Mobile data services revenue rose 5.5% to £4.6 billion, and fixed-line broadband revenus grew 6.8% to £3.4 billion – totalling £8 billion.
Also, broadband penetration now stands at 76% of UK households, and smartphone ownership reached 39% of UK adult in the first quarter of this year, up from 27% in 2011.
Overall telecoms revenues fell by 1.9% to £39.7 billion.
Other research findings relevant for business include the fact that 88% of UK residents prefer to communicate with a real person rather than an automated service.