Copper Wire Continues to Deteriorate

Copper_Wire_Clipart.jpgSNL Kagan is projecting that cable companies and wireless operators will control nearly half of the residential phone market by 2012, according to MediaPost. Here are some statistics from the report:

– Traditional phone companies’ share of the residential market has dropped to 74% from 90% over the past two years, and will shrink to 51% by 2012.

– Cable operators, which offer VoIP-based phone services, are expected to have 31.4 million subscribers, or 26% market share, in 2012.

– Wireless-only households currently number about 12 million, and are expected to more than double to 26 million—a 22% share—in the same time period.

SNL Kagan pins the blame for all this on the “maturing of more tech-savvy young customers and emerging technologies that improve service coverage and reduce costs.” All of these newfangled services still need to work out three things: 1) universal emergency 911 coverage; 2) staying up when the power goes out; and 3) sounding as good as copper wire for voice quality. Whether that’s all enough to, say, continue paying $25 or more per month to maintain a landline is subject to debate, but they’re still important issues that have yet to be resolved.

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