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Seniors are embracing wireless telecommunication faster than predicted

June 8, 2012
by pamela tabar
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Many seniors are quickly adopting wireless phone technology, and plenty are ditching their landlines altogether, according to the May 2012 report "The Wireless Revolution: Are the Elderly Keeping Up?," conducted by the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and the Georgetown Center for Business & Public Policy.

The project examined telecommunications data from 2003-2010 to see whether the elderly were being left behind in a wireless economy—and to reassess the long-standing belief that the senior demographic either couldn’t or wouldn’t let go of landline telephony.

By 2003, 20 years after the introduction of consumer cellular technology, only 41 percent of elderly households had adopted wireless telephony, the study found. But in the next seven years, that number doubled. By 2010, four out of five elderly households had a wireless phone, and 15 percent had canceled the home's landline.

The willingness of seniors to accept wireless technology (and the "smart" applications that increasingly accompany mobile handsets)  creates fertile soil for the growing mHealth market. The study data provide "considerable comfort that elderly households are not as vulnerable to advancing communications technologies as some may fear or have posited."

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