• New data from Ofcom points to people spending less time on mobile voice calls than they did last year.
  • This is a historical shift representing a change in how people use mobile devices.
  • Other data in the survey points to people using their mobile phones more and spending more time on the internet.


According to the Office of Communication (Ofcom), via Reuters, people in the United Kingdom spent less time making voice calls on their mobile phones this year than they did last year. This is the first time that’s ever happened since Ofcom started tracking the data.

The total outgoing mobile call volume in Britain dropped from 151.1 billion minutes in 2017 to 148.6 billion minutes in 2018, a difference of 2.5 billion minutes.

Ofcom says part of the suspected reasons for the drop in voice call minutes is the prevalence of mobile apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Snapchat, which all offer free voice and video calling functions.

I know I barely ever make any phone calls using my smartphone, and most of my Millennial-aged friends avoid phone calls whenever possible. However, it’s interesting to see actual data developing that proves this is a trend and not just a feeling.

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The new report also states that Britons check their smartphones every 12 minutes on average, and spend about 24 hours a week online. A quarter of British adults admit to spending more than 40 hours per week on the internet, which is double the amount logged ten years prior.

Ofcom also says that two out of every five British adults look at their mobile device within five minutes of waking up. That figure rises to 65 percent if you look at adults aged 35 or younger.

Finally, Ofcom says that if British adults had to give up one piece of technology in their lives, they would most miss their smartphones. This is a new shift from the most popular answer for many years prior: their televisions.

The full wealth of data that Ofcom tracks touches on multiple technology and media industries, including television, radio, the internet, and even the postal service. You can read all the data at Ofcom’s site.

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