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JOHANNESBURG - The future of the “traditional” telephone line hangs in the balance as many South Africans have moved to mobile services.

Telkom announced this week that it will be focusing on mobile and fibre going forward, as fixed-line revenue is on a decline.

However, there are still many South Africans that rely on their “land lines” as a primary means of communication.

A few callers on Radio 702 on Tuesday expressed their reliance on traditional landlines.

“I’m a senior citizen and all my friends that are senior citizens have got the 011.”

“We definitely need to hold on to our own landlines and if people want to read about the danger of cell phones, its all on the web.”

However, telecoms analyst Dobek Pater says there is definitely a shift to more modern forms of the "fixed-line".

“On the copper technologies, which is the traditional voice line plus ADSL, these are in decline and emerging to a greater degree as fibre fixed-line. From Telkom’s perspective, it’s not likely to grow to a quantity of lines that it had in the past.”

Telkom reported fixed line voice usage and subscription decreased by 8.7% but Pater says it could still take several years if not a decade before the traditional copper line begins to be phased out completely.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

This article first appeared on EWN : Telkom's mobile focus sounds death knell for landlines

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