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Cell phone users text rather than talk

Users of new and old cell phones are texting, emailing and surfing the internet more and talking less, with the increased use of smart-phones driving the habits, according to a new report. The three biggest wireless providers in Canada, Bell, Rogers and Telus, have witnessed an increase of 34 percent in data revenue growth last year, the Convergence Consulting Group claims.

“Over the last couple of years, cell phone users are using their voices less for talking than they did in the past,” co-founder Brahm Eiley says. “At the same time, we’ve seen a very radical rise in smart-phone penetration.”

Around 45 percent of wireless subscribers in Canada use smartphones, an increase from just 20 percent in 2009. Eiley claims that the figure is expected to rise again to 56 percent by the close of 2012. At the end of June last year, Bell, Rogers and TELUS had seen a decline of about 10 percent in what are referred to as “voice minutes”, talking, in other words, since two years earlier.

The report also discovered that brand new wireless companies such as the likes of Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity are benefitting, at least as a group, from the increase in smartphone usage, because their customers are likewise using data and receiving pricing that greatly undercuts the three biggest wireless carriers. “It shouldn’t surprise anybody that this is the way a lot of people are communicating,” Eiley notes. “Data is the world we live in.”