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International callers ready to go mobile

New survey shows there is vast opportunity for businesses in consumers' interest in making international calls from mobile handsets.

Consumers are ready to dump their landlines, move to Internet and video calls, and use their mobile devices to call internationally, according to a new survey from Harris Interactive.

International callers looking to change
Harris Interactive for Rebtel

While there are many reasons why consumers are looking to switch, the survey data based on a sample size of 2,258 U.S. adults 18 and over suggests that the increasing ubiquity of mobile phones is the primary driver. This is not terribly surprising but does show the vast opportunity still awaiting application developers who can crack the mobile market and evade the carriers.

Here are some tidbits from the survey, which Harris conducted for Swedish VoIP provider Rebtel:

  • 78 percent own a mobile phone.
  • 26 percent own a smartphone .
  • 8 percent of smartphone owners have a dedicated application for international or VoIP calling.
  • 56 percent of U.S. adults who make international phone calls are willing to switch the way they make them.
  • 43 percent are willing to switch to using their mobile phone to make international calls.
  • 19 percent are willing to switch to special long-distance packages, while 16 percent are willing to switch to using their mobile phone with regular carrier calling rates.
  • 11 percent said they are willing to use a VoIP service/application.
  • In terms of video calls, 14 percent of Americans said they currently make them, with 34 percent saying they are willing to pay a monthly fee to do so.
Admittedly, there are a lot of stats in this post, but the data shows that there are many untapped areas in telecom and that services such as Skype still have plenty of room to grow.

In addition, the low number of smartphone owners shows that the market for mobile applications also has room to grow, especially in areas that allow the smartphone to not just replace a landline but to be more of a PC replacement complete with video and VoIP functionality.