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American Consumers Cut the Cord

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 18, 2008

Consultancy Nielsen Co. estimates that 17% of all Americans — 20 million of us — already rely on cell phones to make all calls. They have cut the cord, and are no longer paying for landlines.

Nielsen believes such wireless substitution will skyrocket in the next few months, as consumers try to cut their spending in the face of worsening economy and higher gas and food prices. Ranks of wireless-only consumers will rise to 20% of the U.S. population by year-end, Nielsen estimates. One in five consumers will not have a home phone line by January. That’s staggering.

And that’s very bad news for landline telcos. Clearly, there’s a chance that line losses by companies like Verizon and AT&T will accelerate in the next few months, big time.

Reader Comments


September 19, 2008 4:18 PM

OOps! 17 percent of the American population doesn't make "20 million of us," but close to 52 million Americans--U.S. population is roughly 305 million.


September 20, 2008 10:31 PM

If you read the Nielson "estimates" link, they say there are 20 million HOUSEHOLDS with land line, not people.

Tech Untangled

September 22, 2008 7:30 AM

The nielsen report is about US households and not about Americans. Goes to show that even reporting a few facts from another article by changing a few words here still requires thinking.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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