With the recent technological advancements, cell phones have evolved from being functional devices for voice calls to being exceptional portable computers. With the introduction of smart phones to the market, a person can send SMS, surf the internet, play video and music, and do video conferencing. With the changes brought about by technological innovation, people now spend more money on cell phone services. If you’ve been using the mobile phone for the last 10 years, it would be easy to notice the change in your budget for mobile phone services.
The Growing Mobile Phone Bills
During the early 2000, an average American typically spent $210 annually on mobile phone services. Today, the average American spends about $760 annually. According to statistics released by Bureau of Labor Statistics, mobile phone services increased by at least 15% annually for the first 10 years of the new century. Such increase is considered significant considering that during the same period the average increase in annual household expenditures was pegged at 2%.
The Effect Of Cell Phone Bills On Family Budgets
It has been noticed that mobile phone purchases have become a significant part of each household budget. A lot of people have scrimped on clothing and dining out expenses to buy new cellular phones. With such change in buying behavior, expenses related to cellular phone use have increased steadily in the family budget.
The Effect Of Cell Phone Spending On Land lines
With the increase in cellular spending, there is also a significant decrease in land line spending. Because the cell phone has met an individual’s communication needs, the land line has become insignificant. At the start of the new century, the land line bill would have taken around 75% of the total budget for telecommunication. After 10 years, an average individual was spending 65% telecommunication budget on cell phone bills.
How Africa Is Coping With The Mobile Phone Innovations
This shift in telecommunication spending is not only unique in the USA. In fact, Africa is using the mobile phone technology more than the other countries. According to Toby Shapshak of CNN.com, Africans have become creative with their use of cell phones. It is the only continent around the world with a “mobile only” policy. Because most African locations don’t have reliable sources of electricity, Africans have found old cellular phones which had been junked by most countries to be beneficial primarily because this type of mobile phones have longer battery life. It is very common to see Africans using their cell phones to listen to the FM radio.
Africans also have at least 2 SIM cards because mobile networks in the continent charge higher for interconnection fees with different networks. Thus, they just interchange their SIM cards if they want to communicate with other people who are using a different mobile network than theirs. The cell phone is also used to access the internet. According to Shapshak, South Africa records 25% of its Google searches using a mobile phone during the week. On weekends, this figure rises to about 65%. The mobile phone is also being used for money transactions. According to Gartner, mobile money transactions can reach up to $171 billion before the year ends.