While AT&T is attracting subscribers with their iPhone and Cell Phone plans, the company states that their landline business is losing subscribers faster than expected. So while other companies are worrying about how to make more money from their texting customers, AT&T wants to just keep the talkers talking on their POTS. [Plain Old Telephone System].

In this article from the NY Times it states:

At the same time, as the American cellphone market gets saturated — nearly 85 percent of American consumers already own a mobile phone — phone companies are finding that growth is slowing. With more options, mobile phone buyers are also becoming more selective about the calling plans and the type of phones they want, making the market even more competitive.

“In short order, sentiment in the telecom sector has gone from bullish to guarded to … well, slightly queasy,” Craig Moffett, a research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company who follows communications companies, wrote in a recent report.

Wireless phones are, by far, more common than landlines. According to CTIA, the wireless industry’s trade group based in Washington, there are 262 million wireless subscribers in the United States. In contrast, the Federal Communications Commission counts 163 million business and residential landlines as of June 2007, its latest report.

Analysts say that AT&T will report a decline in the number of its traditional landline subscribers. A spokesman for AT&T said executives could not comment ahead of earnings. Currently the company has 60.4 million traditional landlines — in contrast to 68.7 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2006 — and 71.4 million wireless subscribers.

With this final statement:

It would not be inconceivable, said one telecommunications executive who declined to be named because he was not authorized to discuss his company’s plans, that in the next 10 years, carriers could entice their least profitable landline customers to give up their old-fashioned phones for free or deeply discounted wireless service.

Interesting. Is home landline service on its way out? Will cell service completely take over?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.