Sunday, May 18, 2008 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Wireless Substitution: Some New CDC Numbers

The National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Center for Disease Control, recently released some new data on wireless substitution collected from a survey conducted in the second half of last year. The report notes that:

Preliminary results from the July-December 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that nearly one out of every six American homes (15.8%) had only wireless telephones during the second half of 2007. In addition, more than one out of every eight American homes (13.1%) received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones despite having a landline telephone in the home.

I found it interesting how the report broke out that latter group of "wireless-mostly households" since that's the group I'm in. My wife and I keep a landline (1) for emergency purposes, and (2) as the equivalent of a spam line that we can give out to people who demand a phone number but who we never want to talk to again! Anyway, I think these numbers make it clear that, in a few years time, the majority of Americans are likely to be wireless-only or wireless-mostly homes and wireline systems will grow less and less important.

CDC wireless substitution numbers

Update: Jason Fry of the Wall Street Journal explores what these numbers mean in his entertaining column today, "The Landline That Refused to Leave." And his colleague Carl Bialik, who pens the always-brilliant "Numbers Guy" column for the Journal also sounded off on this.

posted by Adam Thierer @ 8:44 PM | Communications