cell phone talkThe number of mobile voice calls made by Americans of all ages and ethnic groups has changed by less than one call per day on average over the past year, according to new market research from Nielsen. That should lay to rest concerns among mobile voice telecom providers that mobile voice usage is declining significantly with Americans, as has been the case in the past, researchers said. There has been particular concern among mobile carriers that the rapid rise of OTT messaging apps like Whats App could dramatically change calling patterns.

Nielsen Mobile Insights reveals that 31% of U.S. wireless subscribers describe their voice calling usage as “low.” But that only changed 3%  from 2014, when 28% described the same. Nielsen concludes with the probability that a subscriber simply doesn’t call much is not moving too quickly.

The actual amount of time being spent on the phone is declining though, except among certain age groups, however, according to the latest from Nielsen Mobile Insights. The number of minutes those 25-34, 35-54 and 55 and older spend on their mobile phones dropped year-over-year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, wireless network users 55 and older spend the least amount of time on their mobile phones. Those 18-24 followed. On the other hand, the number of ¨anytime minutes¨ those 18-24 spent on voice calls in 3Q 2015 rose 33 minutes as compared to a year ago.

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Mobile Voice Usage Study
Turning to race, Nielsen found that African-Americans spend the most time talking on their mobile phones. In addition, the number of minutes they spent doing so rose from the year-ago period. Mobile voice call minutes dropped for all other race and ethnic groups, however.

Zooming in on mobile voice usage in the New York market, data from Nielsen Mobile Performance panelists shows that mobile phone users continue to make voice calls at all hours of the day. The peak calling time is between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m — although callers place calls at all times of the day and night.

Has the use of texts increased along with the decline in time spent on voice calls? According to Nielsen’s latest data, the percentage of subscribers using text messaging rose just 1 percent over the past year, from 78 to 79 percent.

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