George Siemens points out a Pew Internet study suggesting that not only 50% of world population has a mobile phone, many people are starting to use mobile phones as their primary phone.
I have not used landline phone for the past 8 years. Partly the reason is that I am not telephone person , and have been perfectly happy communicating via IM, Skype, email. I have had reasonable mobile plans, but in any case I use mobile mostly for texting, and as a way for others to access me.
The main reason not to use landline though is that in the past 8 years I moved house 7 times, in 6 different cities, in 3 different countries. Most landline plans require minimum 12-18 months contracts. In addition, if you are a foreigner, you often have to submit a proof that your residence permit covers the duration of the potential landline contract. Given than I have often worked on temporary contracts, and in in many countries residence permits are renewable annually, it just didn’t make sense for me to have a landline.
When I moved to Glasgow two years ago, the area where my current flat is located didn’t have cable internet. I had to take a landline contract in order to have access to broadband internet. So now while I do have a landline, I never use it beyond internet access.
With the increasing number of nomads like me – highly mobile people who either have to or choose to move across the world for work – there maybe an increasing need for companies that provide such utility services to offer more flexibility to the clients. Arguably, global nomads are still a niche market, but this may change one day soon.