Calling via the landline is back thanks to corona


The fixed telephone connection, which has hardly been used in many households in recent years, is showing an unexpected revival.

A report published Wednesday by the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) confirms what many home workers already knew: due to the corona crisis, there are significantly more phone calls. And we don’t just use the mobile phone for that. According to the Telecom Monitor, a quarterly report by ACM, the number of calling minutes via a fixed telephone line grew by 19 percent in the past six months.

This increase deviates from the steadily declining pattern – in 2010 the number of fixed calling minutes per quarter was twice as high (5 billion minutes) than it is now (2.5 billion). In many households, the fixed telephone is able to capture dust, because almost half of consumers can make unlimited calls via their mobile phone.

There are still 5.3 million fixed telephone connections in use – out of eight million households – which are largely owned by KPN and Vodafone / Ziggo. By way of comparison: in 2010, private individuals had more than 7 million fixed telephone lines.

The number of calling minutes via a mobile phone also increased in the first half of 2020: by 23 percent.

Many home workers reach for the telephone because it is less tiring than continuous texting or long video calling. A video meeting via Zoom or Microsoft Teams requires that you remain seated in front of the camera. Just calling gives more freedom and is more spontaneous and less uncomfortable than the profusion of eye contact during video calls, American professor of communication science Jeremy Bailenson recently explained in NRC.

Also read: Video conferencing hurts your brain. It can be better this way.

Another corona effect: mobile data use increased less quickly than before because the Dutch are on the road less. Instead, they use their own WiFi.

According to ACM, 47 percent of Dutch households have a download speed of at least 100 megabits per second and 44 percent of internet connections reach between 30 and 100 mbit per second. Below 30 megabit, the bandwidth can fall short if you are video conferencing, gaming or watching Netflix with several roommates at the same time. Half a percent of households have to make do with less than 10 megabits per second.

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