The phone call is one of the oldest and most widely used forms of communication, but it is increasingly being rivaled by newer technologies such as text messaging, email, video calls, and chatbots. With the rise of mobile data and Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Zoom, many people have moved to using data instead of cellular networks to make and receive calls.
According to a report by Statista, global mobile data traffic reached nearly 126 exabytes in the first quarter of 2023, an increase of about 34 exabytes compared to the same quarter in the previous year. The report also shows that global mobile voice traffic has remained the same at 0.23 exabytes since the first quarter of 2016. This suggests that mobile data usage is growing rapidly, while mobile voice usage is stagnant, which could mean that people are shifting from using cellular networks to using data networks for voice calls via VoIP apps.
A survey by Hiya, a call performance management cloud, reveals that consumers and businesses still prefer phone calls over all other methods of communication, especially for remote interactions. The survey, which was conducted in 2023 among more than 12,000 consumers and 2,000 businesses in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, Spain, and France, found that:
- More than 12,000 consumers ranked the phone call No. 1 for remote interactions, beating out text, email, video calls, and chatbots.
- To connect with customers, businesses have turned to voice––particularly for time-sensitive interactions such as responding to customer inquiries, scheduling appointments, and closing sales––and predict their use of voice will increase or stay the same in the next 12 months.
- Across the globe, consumers prefer to pick up the phone when they need to connect with their bank, credit card company, insurance agent, healthcare provider, pharmacy, delivery service, and especially coworkers, friends, and family.
These findings indicate that the phone call is still a preferred and effective means of communication for both personal and professional purposes. However, the survey does not specify whether phone calls are made through cellular or data networks.
Both regular phone calls and data-based apps have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is best to choose one or the other considering your individual needs and preferences. If you need a reliable and convenient way to make calls, even in areas with poor internet connection, then regular calling may be the best choice for you. However, if you are looking for a cheaper and more feature-rich way to communicate, especially when making international calls, data-based apps may be a better option.
As technology advances and consumer preferences change, phone calls, whether over cellular or data networks or in any other format, are likely to remain an important form of communication for many years to come while adapting and innovating.