A survey has found that the Skype is being used by more and more Australians to call family, friends, and colleagues in order to cut back on the high costs associated with long distance and international phone calls.

According to a TeleGeography survey announced last week, the growth of international telephone traffic has slowed in the past two years, while Skype’s traffic has soared. Skype’s on-net traffic (between two Skype users) grew 51 per cent in 2008, and is projected to grow 63 per cent in 2009, to 54 billion minutes.

Locally, many Australians see communication platforms such as Skype as the next best thing to bringing family and friends together during the holiday season. This is according to the Galaxy Research survey conducted in this month in partnership with Skype.

For example, the survey has found that 78 per cent of users used Skype to wish their family and friends a “Merry Christmas”, while 55 per cent used the software to wish their loved ones a “Happy New Year”.

The Skype video call is the most popular Skype feature used, with around a half of all subscribers having used Skype video to call colleagues, friends or family. In addition, 44 per cent of Skype subscribers used Skype this holiday season to cut back on the high costs associated with long distance and international phone calls.

Skype Asia Pacific’s Vice President and General Manager, Dan Neary said, “The results from this survey illustrate that Australians are looking for high quality, cost effective ways to communicate with their loved ones during special times. Skype’s high quality voice and video calls have become an essential communication tool for Australians, and as internet access and speed improves across the country these statistics are likely to further increase”.  

The survey also revealed that greater numbers of Australians are using Skype more frequently since the previous holiday period, largely due to greater awareness of Skype’s offerings.

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