For those who have followed my posts, you'll know that I believe things are very different for the new generation. I'm an old guy, I still believe in things like email and phone calls. Heck, I still have a fixed line at my house.
But for teens/twenties today, along with my pre-teen kids, the world is already much different... especially when considering how they use a mobile phone. One only has to read the reviews of some of the cool new devices to understand these are mobile internet terminals, not phones (EVO review: no mention of voice at all)
An article titled "Teens crazy for texting, but losing interest in voice calls" covers new research by the Nielsen company on how people in general use their mobile phones.
There is particularly distressing stats in the article:
On average, teens used 14% fewer voice minutes than they did just one year ago
This chart shows the drop in just one year. The new generation is leading the trend.
When asked why they choice to text versus make a phone call, 22% said it was 'easier' and 20% said it was faster.
Even more dramatic, the article points out a CTIA study which shows that in 2006 the average mobile phone call was 3 minutes, and today it's 1.67 minutes. I don't believe that's specific to teens.
To me, this represents a huge trend in the future of communications. The reality is that over the next 10 years the number of voice minutes will begin to drop across the board.
So why are operators preparing to spend billions of dollars on fancy new IMS voice systems? There's no way to justify the return on investment -- especially with Skype waiting in the wings.