To celebrate the launch of Skype from your home phone Skype has commissioned research into changing communication habits. Half of Brits would have no problem working overseas as they know it is easy to stay in touch with loved ones here in the UK, new research has revealed. However, spare a thought for those left behind, as only 48% could recall their parents' home phone number off the top of their head and even fewer (12%) are able to recall their parents' mobile phone number.
The UK survey of 2,000 people, which was commissioned by Skype and conducted by Opinion Matters to coincide with the launch of Skype from your home phone - a new line of products that enable the use of Skype from your home phone, has revealed that advances in technology have removed one of the main worries of many thinking about moving abroad.
When asked whether the fact that it is now so much easier to keep in contact with friends and family back home would mean they would be more willing to accept a job offer and move abroad, 50% of respondents either strongly agreed or slightly agreed. This is more likely in younger people, with 60% of 16-24 year olds and 61% of 25-34 year olds open to this lifestyle choice. Respondents from the North East were the biggest homebodies, with only 9% expressing a strong desire to move overseas for work, whilst those in London were the keenest (20%).
The research has also revealed that our connections abroad have increased over the past ten years - meaning that we have had to find new ways to stay in touch. According to our UK survey, 69% of us now have one or more friends or relatives living abroad, an increase of over 21% since 2001 (57%). Fortunately, an overwhelming 98% of people felt that technological advances have meant that it's easier to keep in contact with friends and family members abroad much more than ever before.
Enrico Noseda, Head of Market Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa said of the findings, "Attitudes towards keeping in touch internationally are changing. At Skype, our mission is to make Skype available everywhere so users can enjoy their conversations whenever and wherever they are. With the launch of Skype from your home phone, we are continuing to make it even easier for consumers to enjoy conversations in the home, whether on Skype-enabled TVs, Skype for Windows or Mac, and now via a Skype-ready cordless phone or the FREETALK Phone Adapter."
When asked how people are staying in touch with loved ones abroad there was an overwhelming lean towards online communication (87%). This reflects the rapid growth of this form of communication; ten years ago it only accounted for 27% of people's first choice, being beaten by the phone. The biggest age group using the internet for international communication is 16-24 year olds at 89%, but the older generations are catching up, with 87% of 55+ going online to stay in touch with overseas friends or relatives.
Skype user and queen of clean Kim Woodburn said of the launch of Skype from your home phone, "I can remember a time when the only way you could stay in touch with friends and family who were abroad was via a letter because international calling was so expensive. Skype has been extremely helpful in enabling me to stay in touch with my uncle in Australia and other members of my family around the world. The launch of Skype on the home phone makes it even easier, as I can now make Skype calls from my home phone to stay in touch with my friends and family abroad."
The home phone has also changed significantly in the last ten years in terms of usage. Back in 2001 the phone was the first choice of communication for 65% of the UK and has fallen to 56% in 2011. The phone was the first choice of Scotland for international communication in 2001 with 73% of people using it which has fallen to 62%. Northern Ireland use the phone the most with figures for 2011 showing 67% of the population would still choose this as their main means of communication.
It would seem that there is still a feeling that the cost of international calls is stopping people from ringing abroad more often via mobiles and landlines, with 71% of respondents in our survey either strongly agreeing or slightly agreeing with this. One way that people have been staying in touch more cost effectively is through Skype. In fact, according to estimates published by TeleGeography in January 2011, the number of Skype-to-Skype calling minutes was equivalent to approximately 20% of the total of all global international PSTN and Skype-to-Skype calling minutes*.
To enjoy Skype from their home phone, users can either select a Skype-ready cordless phone or the FREETALK® Home Phone Adapter - a hassle-free, plug-and-play solution that lets phone users enjoy free Skype-to-Skype calls and low cost calls to landlines and mobiles worldwide directly via a broadband connection from their existing handset. These products enable both Skype and landline calling, from the same handset.
Skype is now combining the convenience of calling from your home phone with great value Skype calling rates with the introduction of Skype from your Home Phone. Users can either select a Skype-ready cordless phone from GE or the FREETALK Home Phone Adaptor to make free Skype-to-Skype calls and low cost calls to landlines and mobiles worldwide directly from your existing handset.
- The FREETALK Connect•Me Home Phone Adapter, which can store up to 100 speed dials/Skype contacts, only requires a PC for the initial set up. Once the adapter is set up, users don't have to turn on their computers to connect with friends and family through Skype. If the consumer wants to make a call using their traditional landline, the FREETALK Connect•Me Home Phone Adapter allows them to choose that option as well.
- The GE Digital Cordless Expandable Telephone with Skype (GE 31591) is the latest in a line of popular Skype ready handsets which will give consumers the ability to connect with Skype contacts for free, make low-cost calls to mobiles and landlines and manage their Skype contacts without the need of a PC.
Both products will be available for sale through the online Skype Shop. The FREETALK® Connect•Me product will also be available on FREETALK's website.
*For the year ended 31 December 2010.
Skype is a communications software whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication. With an Internet-connected device, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free with messaging, voice and video. At low cost, they can also call landlines or mobiles virtually anywhere in the world. Skype has recently introduced group video, allowing groups of more than two people to do things together whenever they're apart.
Founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg, Skype is a division of Microsoft Corp. (:MSFT, news). Skype can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and other connected devices for free at www.skype.com.
FREETALK is a product innovation catalyst - identifying market gaps and working with its global partners to design, manufacture and quickly bring to market products that disrupt traditional categories. Leveraging untapped market opportunities, FREETALK products are designed and packaged to be environmentally friendly and delivered globally at aggressive price-points. Always at the forefront of innovation, FREETALK is known for creating synergistic products that add unique value to its partners' branded points-of-sale.
The FREETALK line of products is available globally through eBuyNow. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on becoming an authorised retailer or reseller.
Access to a broadband Internet connection is required for all use of Skype features.
Skype, associated trademarks and logos and the "S" symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.