Overall time spent using voice communications fell by five percent in 2011, Ofcom, the U.K. communications regulator, reports. “This reflects a 10 percent fall in the volume of calls from landlines, and for the first time ever, a fall in the volume of mobile calls (by just over one percent, in 2011.”

To reiterate, for the first time ever, fewer phone calls are being made on both fixed and mobile phones, Ofcom reports.

In part, that is because, in the United Kingdom, as in many other markets, mobile phones have become multi-application devices.

Text-based communications are surpassing traditional phone calls or meeting face to face as the most frequent ways of keeping in touch, for U.K. adults, Ofcom, the U.K. communications regulator, says.

The average UK consumer now sends 50 texts a week, more than doubled in four years, with over 150 billion text messages sent in 2011.

Almost another 90 minutes per week is spent using social networking sites and e-mail or using a mobile to access the Internet.

According to Ofcom, 96 percent users 16 to 24 are using some form of text based application on a daily basis to communicate with friends and family; with 90 percent using texts and nearly three quarters (73 percent) using social networking sites.

By comparison, talking on the phone is less popular among this younger age group, with 67 percent making mobile phone calls on a daily basis, and only 63 percent talking face to face.

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