Half of UK consumers still use a landline for international calls

30 Oct 2012

Despite the growth of voice over IP (VoIP) video services like Skype and Google Hangouts, just fewer than half of UK consumers still prefer using landlines to make international calls.

Despite being able to make free video calls over these platforms, the figure rises to 60pc among those over 55.

Predictably, the figure falls to less than 20pc among 18-to-20-year-olds, according to the study by Firstsource Solutions, an outsourcing company with operations in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Derry.

The survey shows that a third (32pc) of UK consumers now use VoIP services such as Skype to make international calls.

Amongst 18-24-year-olds, this increases to more than half, (55pc) which breaks down as 43pc preferring to use VoIP via their computers or laptops and 12pc preferring to use VoIP via their smartphones or tablet computers.

The survey also shows that about the same number of people use VoIP on their mobile phones (eg, Skype apps) to make international calls (7pc) as those that use conventional mobile phone voice services (5pc).

“Fixed line providers have responded to competition from VoIP by improving their international calling offers for their subscribers, bundling international calls with their service or offering a variety of peak and off-peak international call options,” explained Iain Regan, global head of sales and marketing, Firstsource Solutions.

“This means that even some of the tech-savvy younger generation find this option appealing compared to VoIP.

“However, there is no doubt that fixed-line providers and mobile network operators will need to continually adapt to VoIP being used to make local and international calls.

“This will increasingly be the case as the quality of VoIP improves with the roll out of 4G broadband and as VoIP becomes more integrated into search engines and social networking sites,” Regan said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years