Phonebooks.com, a privately held website based out of Jacksonville Beach, FL, added 2.4 million cell phone numbers to its free telephone directory yesterday. The numbers, which were part of over 10 million records that were added to the site Wednesday, are being made available to visitors immediately.
This move by Phonebooks.com is being done with the goal of building a national telephone directory which includes cell numbers. "This is the first of several planned upgrades to our data. Our hope is that, in the next 12 months, we are able to offer information on a significant portion of US cell phones," said Aaron Rosenthal, president of Phonebooks.com. There is a steady increase in the nation's dependence on cell phones for both vital and daily calls. By the end of 2009 there was a 61.7% increase in the number of wireless subscribers since December of 2000. This number coincides with the newest trend in telecommunications: households with cellular phones only. Many factors have influenced this movement.
Stephen Blumberg, the lead author of the study on wireless substitution in the United States for the Center for Disease Control, accredits the recent recession for this trend, "We do expect that with the recession, we'd see an increase in the prevalence of wireless-only households, above what we might have expected had there been no recession."
According to survey records held by the CDC, in 2003 only 3% of households had cell phones as their only means of telecommunication. As of 2008 that number increased to 20%, meaning a fifth of all households in the United States opted out of landlines. In addition, one of every seven American homes (14.5%) received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones, despite having a landline telephone. This means over 105 million Americans use their cell phones as their primary or only means of making and receiving phone calls.
These trends inspired Phonebooks.com to further advance their directory and start including cell phone numbers. "As America moves away from landlines to cellular phones, it's imperative that there be a phone directory that offers access to this information," said Rosenthal.
The site's cell phone results include the owner's name, address, wireless carrier, local map, possible employment information and suggested photos found online. Phonebooks.com also allows users to leave comments pertaining to certain numbers. Thus, facts can be checked, corrections can be made, information can be added, or numbers can be reported.
Unlike some local phone books, Phonebooks.com removes a listing upon request completely free of charge. "We realize people are sensitive about having their information in the public eye. This is why we have made requests for unlisting any name easy and free of charge," said Rosenthal.