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Landlines will be 'virtually extinct' by 2025

Tuesday, April 21st 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The home landline will be “virtually extinct” by 2025, according to findings published by internet provider Relish.

The claims were made in the ‘How evolving technology has changed the way we work and communicated; and what the future holds’ white paper.

According to the document, which draws information from a variety of sources, the landline will be non-existent in the office of 2025 and virtually extinct in the home.

It said: “Since the introduction of mobile technology, businesses and homeowners have increasingly harnessed the opportunity to become more agile and flexible, and cut back on unnecessary costs.

“As a result, the need for landline telephones has dramatically declined.”

It cited a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, which found that in the UK there had been a 33% decline in voice calls made from households’ landlines over the past five years.

The Relish white paper said the rising cost in landlines versus the fall in cost of a broadband package had led to increased demand for broadband-only packages from providers like itself, which do not require a landline.

'Completely pointless'

The London-based company said recent research it has carried out revealed that one in four Britons did not know their own home phone number while half of Brits only keep their home phone so they can access the internet.

It quoted Colm Sheehy, senior economist for the Centre of Economics and Business Research, who said: “Having a wired phone in your house is completely pointless.

“It’s amazing how far behind we are – technology has advanced but we’re still living in the 90s in terms of infrastructure.”

The white paper also cited research suggesting that the next decade could also bring the demise of mobile phones, and could see an even further reduction in the number of people who use a television set.

It quoted Tushar Agarwal, co-founder of Hubble, a start-up that matches spare office space with those who need it, saying: “Mobile phones won’t exist by 2025.

“As seen in the Spike Jonze film ‘Her’, they’ll be replaced by small wearable devices.”

Relish’s document said as viewers move to watching online catch-up services like BBC iPlayer rather than live broadcasting, as well as streaming services like Netflix, the need for an actual TV is declining.

'Ditch the TV'

It said: “While most households won’t be keen to ditch the TV just yet, student households and young adults in house-shares may well find it economically advantageous to simply watch content on laptops and movile devices rather than invest in a TV.”

The white paper also described how businesses no longer have to pay for landlines they don’t want, with an increasingly flexible workplace and a move to people working from home.

It also looked at how people who have been born into a world where broadband is the norm have different expectations of technology than their predecessors.

The paper went on to predict that newer innovations would take the place of dying technologies like the landline, including things like wearables and 3D printing.

In conclusion, it said improved access to cheaper broadband would contribute to a world where people are not expected to be at their desks, 9am-5pm, five days a week.

It said: “Along with the landline, home phones and eventually office phones may disappear as wearable technology becomes the norm."

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