The Mobile Conference Call Revolution
According to research from Alina & Catalina, telework is becoming more and more popular within the EU. This trend correlates with technological advancements in telecommunication devices, the most obvious being the proliferation of the mobile phone.
It has been reported that mobile devices are quickly becoming people’s first choice for use in conference calls. According to an international survey from West Unified Communications Services:
- The total number of mobile devices used in conference calls increased by 23% from 2011 to 2012, and another 19% from 2012 to 2013.
- The overall percentage of time spent using mobile devices on conference calls was 21.2% in 2013, an increase from 20.8% in 2012 and 19.4% in 2011.
At 247meeting, we compared this information against some 1 million EU conference calls hosted on our platform between 2015 and 2018. The goal was to verify and visualise any growth in mobile conference calls through the usage of our very own mobile conference call app.
Growth in Southern Europe
In no instance did our data prove anything other than an increase in mobile conference call usage. What’s interesting is the fluctuating rate at which this new technology is being adopted in various regions. Southern European countries appear to be moving towards liberated conference calls faster than their Northern European counterparts. Visualised below is Italy’s increasing mobile phone usage:
The graph illustrates Italy’s incredible growth rate over just 3 years. Mobile phone usage in Italy has actually overtaken landlines as the device of choice. This reflects existing data that shows how mobile device social usage in Italy has increased 17% between January 2016 and 2017.
The over-saturation of mobile devices in developed regions has had a major impact on the decline of the landline, as seen from 2017 onwards in Italy’s circumstances. The decline of the landline is a trend that’s been widely observed.
Other Southern European countries show similar levels of mobile app usage when compared to landlines, albeit progressing at varying rates. Take for example Spain, whose data when visualised looks as follows:
Mobile conferencing in Spain has been on the verge of overtaking landlines for several years. At the growth rate seen above, we believe mobile conferencing will become the status quo during 2018/19. This stems from Spain’s mobile phone penetration, which peaked at 92% in 2017 according to Euromonitor International.
Growth in Northern Europe
Similar growth trends are being seen in Northern Europe as they are in the south, the only difference being the original percentage of landline conference call users in 2015. The growth rate of mobile conference calls in Germany, for example, was roughly 10% in 3 years. The same rate of growth could be seen in Spain, the difference being Spain’s already high percentage of mobile conference call users in 2015 at 40%.
One hypothesis for this slower overall transition to mobile conference calls is Germany’s older core workforce. A survey from West Unified Communications Services describes how age demographic plays a significant role in the evolution of mobile conference calls:
- Millennials have embraced mobile conference calls more than Gen X-ers.
- 76% of Millennials say they prefer to take calls on a mobile device compared to just 47% of Gen X.
This also follows trends in overall mobile device usage broken down by age demographic, as seen in this study from IAB Europe. As suspected, mobile device usage decreases with higher age brackets.
A similar growth rate to Germany can be seen in France, where there’s been a reluctance to adopt mobile conference calls, although this appears to be diminishing. France shares plenty of similarities with Germany in terms of an ageing core workforce.
Growth in UK and Ireland
The steady growth rate in mobile conference call usage corroborates data about mobile phone usage in the UK and its steady increase in the last 3 years.
It’s also worth mentioning the rise in telework in the UK. The UK Office of National Statistics published that flex-time increased between 2012 and 2016 by 12.35%. They estimate that by 2020, half of the UK workforce will be working remotely. This suggests that mobile conference calls will continue to grow well into the 2020s.
Surprisingly, one of the few countries that hasn’t shown major growth in the last 3 years is Ireland. Considering Ireland’s reputation as a digital hub, there’s a reluctance to join the mobile conference call revolution, still favouring unfashionable landline technology.
Despite increasing mobile phone usage in Ireland during the same time period, the only time any significant shift towards mobile conference calls occurred was during the infamous ‘Beast from the East’ storm in March 2018. Due to treacherous conditions, many organisations insisted their employees worked remotely for over 2 days. Storm Ophelia also forced thousands of Irish employees to work remotely in October 2017, leading to another noticeable increase in mobile conference call use.
It’s difficult to hypothesise with any certainty the reason behind Ireland’s aversion to the mobile conference call. In spite of this, it’s estimated that over 216,000 people in Ireland are working from home or some other workspace at least some of the time.
Poor weather conditions in late 2017 and early 2018 might have acted as the catalyst required to encourage mobile conference calls. Ireland’s workforce will also consist of 75% millennials by 2025, and as already examined, millennials tend to favour mobile devices over older forms of communication.
247meeting Mobile App
If you feel it’s time to make the transition over to mobile conference calls, or if you simply want to explore a mobile conference call app, then be sure to download the 247meeting Mobile app! There’s no need for other guests on your conference call to download the app, all you have to do is select the desired guests from your phone’s contact list, push call, and you’re away. It’s as simple as that!
Other advantages of using 247meeting Mobile over traditional landline conference calls include:
- A Dial-Out format. Instead of waiting for each guest to dial-in to the call, the Host simply selects who they want to include and dials-out. This means putting the Host in control of the call and no one can dial-in without their permission, compromising security.
- A platform that shows you exactly who is on the call. To ensure confidentiality, it simply can’t be taken for granted how many people are on your conference call. With 247meeting Mobile app, the Host simply glances at their screen and easily see who exactly is on the line.