To the Ministry's main lobby The Ministry Blog
concert setlists

22 October, 2004

Uncertainty uncertain

The BBC claims to report that according to research sponsored by Nokia, "home phones face an uncertain future" - fixed line home phones could become scarce as more people use a mobile phone for every call they make or take.

Research sponsored by Nokia.  The mobile phone manufacturer.  Hello!  What conclusions should one expect from such a report?  I don't doubt the raw results, collected by pollsters Mori, but subsequent interpretation for publication is rather likely to favour the client's intended message.

I say 'claims to report' because the sensationalist first couple of paragraphs aren't entirely supported by statements made later in the same article, such as that:

Home phones were used for longer calls but conversations on mobiles tended to be shorter, between mobiles and to friends.

In the UK 69% of those questioned said they turned to their fixed phone because it was still cheaper to use than a mobile.

However, when pressed few could say with accuracy how tariffs on fixed and mobile phones compared.

I don't even see how that final statement can be interpreted as a sign that fixed line usage is bound to cease, but that... extrapolation is made in the article.

The sidebar of the piece offers a quick (unscientific) poll of readers, which at the time of writing suggests that 59.25% of people responding (admittedly, a self-selecting sample) would not give up their landline phones for mobiles.

Needless to say, I'm one of them.

Site Home Tull Tour History Annotated Passion Play
Day in the life... Page design and original graphics © NRT, 2003