Telephony's Tale of the Tape: Shrinking Telecom

Landline losses at large (U.S.) phone companies such as AT&T (s T) and Verizon (s VZ) have become so routine that we stopped paying attention. This graphic in a research report by Leichtman Research brought them back into focus. In 2008, phone companies lost about 7.94 million lines, while cable companies signed up about 3.95 million voice subscribers.


Where did the rest go? Mobile! And as we pointed out earlier, as this depression continues, people are opting to keep a single line – preferably mobile, and preferably from lower cost mobile providers such as Metro PCS and T-Mobile. My belief is that telcos are in a race against time, and these landline losses are their Achilles’ heel. Every time they lose a relationship with a landline customer, they can’t really upsell them a broadband connection.