Utilities experts: Kiwi landlines will be extinct by 2040

Utilities experts: Kiwi landlines will be extinct by 2040

Market watchers say landline decline will be exponential, not linear

Michael Speight and Denis Tyurkov (CompareBear)

Michael Speight and Denis Tyurkov (CompareBear)

Credit: CompareBear

Two Kiwi utilities experts are predicting the death of landline phones by 2040.

Michael Speight and Denis Tyurkov, the founders of utilities comparison websites and say at the current rate of decline, providers will stop offering landline plans by 2040.

For the past 12 months, 78 per cent of users on their websites have been wanting to switch to plans which do not include a landline.

“Over the years, we’ve seen a decreasing number of people wanting landlines, and at this rate, we think there will be such little demand by 2040, that retailers will stop providing landlines as an option,” Tyurkov said.

“Landlines are obsolete now. Like all great technology, they revolutionised things and served their purpose for a long time, but now, there are better options.”

As reported by Reseller News, telco major Spark reported revenue down by $7 million year-on-year to $1.75 billion for the six months ended 31 December, as legacy voice and managed data continued to decline.

The telco said an accelerated decline in wholesale voice connections occurred in the previous financial year while revenue growth moderated for mobile and for cloud, security and service management.

Speight said the impending death of the landline has many causes.

“Cheaper-than-ever smartphones, great plans with unlimited minutes, and the inconvenience of having multiple contact numbers: these are just a few of the reasons landlines are heading to their graves," he said.

“There’s almost no reason to have a landline for domestic calls. Additionally, internet calling — which connects any two people in the world by video for free — has helped play a big part in killing landlines.”

A report from two years ago suggested that one in five New Zealanders didn’t have landlines, where as more than 90 per cent of Kiwis had landlines 12 years ago.

“The data we have suggests the drop is exponential and not linear," said Speight. "So it’s not going to be a 10 percent drop in usage every 10 years; it’s going to be much higher than that and forever increasing.

“From what we can tell, landlines will be completely gone in New Zealand by 2040.”

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