Texting Outpaces Calling On Mobile Phones

  • September 23, 2008
It's not just for obsessed teens anymore. Texting has become more popular than calling, according to new data from Nielsen Mobile, showing that U.S. mobile users now send or receive 357 text messages per month compared to 204 phone calls.

The second quarter of 2008 was the second consecutive quarter in which the average number of text messages sent was significantly higher than the average number of phone calls placed, according to Nielsen. While the number of calls has remained relatively steady, text messages have shot up 450% in the last two years.

Not surprisingly, the biggest gap between calls and text messages is found among teenage mobile customers. Those ages 13 to 17 sent or received on average 1,742 text messages a month, compared to only 231 calls.

For those ages 35 to 44, the ratio was about even at 223 to 236. And for mobile users 45 and over, voice is still the preferred method of communication.

Nic Covey, director of insights for Nielsen Mobile, said that two consecutive quarters of texting easily surpassing calling shows that the pattern is more than just a fluke. "We now see the trend with a high degree of confidence," he said. That's music to the ears of mobile carriers aiming to encourage customers to more lucrative data services.--Mark Walsh

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