A preference for instant messaging services and demand for data on smartphones has reduced the frequency of phone calls according to a new study by UK industry regulator Ofcom.
A quarter of mobile phone users now make five standard calls or less every month. Additionally, around 6% do not make a single call as younger generations continue to pivot to other more convenient and less daunting communication methods.
Meanwhile, 60% of people who use their smartphone for calls end conversations within 90 seconds.
The study by Ofcom, which analysed the habits of 150,000 Android smartphones users between January and March this year, found the indifference to mobile calls stands in stark contrast to the huge spike in demand for data.
“As the amount of time people spend on the phone decreases, the requirement to access the internet whilst on the move to reach people increases because consumers are more frequently opting to connect with others through methods like WhatsApp, or Messenger,” Comparemymobile.com’s Rob Baillie said.
The use of these IM apps and a growing desire to stream content and browse the web has pushed average mobile data usage to 1.9GB a month, a staggering 850% increase on the 0.2GB figure from seven years ago.
Data usage currently peaks during the rush hour period between 5-6 pm when commuters use their phones to catch up with news and browse social media.
Ofcom also noted that mobile users are now connected to superfast 4G 82% of the time when using data.