On 13 November 2012, Ofcom published research that it had commissioned earlier in the year to understand the breadth of communication methods used by UK adults. This research included a review of consumer preferences for different forms of communication depending on whether they were communicating with friends and family or with businesses. The research considered ways such as meeting face to face, using voice calls on fixed landline or on mobile phones, text messages, emails, instant messaging, social networking and post. The report segmented the UK consumer population into five distinct groups according to their attitudes, ranging from heavy communicators that are ‘Always-on’ to more ‘Detached’ users for whom communication is not a priority. The findings are expected to feed into Ofcom’s existing work on understanding consumer behaviour.
This research provides pertinent customer attitudinal evidence in the context of the regulation of fixed voice services, which are now subject to increasing substitution from means such as text messaging and emails. DotEcon had undertaken a number of regulatory projects in respect of such substitution, and is currently providing support to a telecommunications operator assessing the increase in competitive constraints on its provision of voice calls.