stories filed under: "landlines"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 13th 2010 2:38pm
The TV industry has been totally downplaying the idea that people would ever "cut the cord" when it comes to TV. While it may be true that it's a very small minority of users today, it would seem that those in the TV industry might want to look over to their friends in the telco industry. They used to scoff at the idea of cord cutters as well... and now 25% of all households have dumped their landlines entirely. And, among younger folks, it's getting increasingly difficult to find a landline at all. Things change. What was unthinkable not so long ago can become reality pretty quickly.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jul 15th 2009 1:13pm
from the what-a-shame dept
It's really sad to see some of the struggles that legacy businesses go through in trying to adapt to a more modern world, but not all of it is the fault of those businesses themselves. Look, for example, at what's happening with Verizon. Subsidiary Verizon Wireless -- which is 55% owned by Verizon -- began a marketing campaign pushing people to ditch their landline phone and go completely wireless. That's not a bad marketing campaign (and, in fact, might be a very good marketing campaign these days). So what happens? The union that represents Verizon's landline telco workers flips out and accuses the company of trying to undermine the union by helping Verizon get out of the landline business, so it can get rid of those workers. Seriously. First of all, there's little evidence to suggest that's true. Like most traditional telcos, Verizon still sees its basic landline business as a useful cash cow that I'm sure it intends to milk for as long as possible. Chances are, since VZW is a separate company, the marketing plan had nothing to do with the parent's marketing efforts. But, either way, at some point the company should be pushing customers to ditch landlines and other older technologies and embrace better solutions. Not because it puts old union guys out of work, but because it's where the market is headed.
Wed, Apr 8th 2009 6:29pm
from the getting-there dept
The shift away from landline phones to mobile phones has been growing for several years, as many people find landline service redundant. Fixed-line operators have done very little to update landlines and keep them relevant, preferring instead to rely on inertia to maintain subscriptions, alongside forcing landlines into bundles or making them a requirement for DSL. This has worked, to some extent, especially as landlines still did hold some benefit for families, or in situations where people wanted to call a place as opposed to a particular person. But mobile operators are innovating and narrowing this gap. For instance, MetroPCS has announced a new "family line" product, which gives families a single number alongside their additional phone number. When this number is called, all the family members' individual handsets ring, and anybody who answers gets placed into conference with the caller, mimicking a landline with multiple extensions. The number can also be used within the family to enable easy conference calls. It's not a huge technological breakthrough, and it's also not a service that's likely to be a big deal to tons of users -- but it does illustrate how even with as old a product as voice, the mobile side of the telecom business is trying to push forward, while landline voice remains largely stagnant.