Cheap internet voice calls on the up

Of 447 who said they frequently made international calls, 21% said they used Skype while 59% use the Ten21 service, that connects users to a VoIP (Voiceover Internet Protocol) service.

A survey by the Malta Communications Authority has revealed that 22% of households are using internet applications like Skype to make local calls, with the majority of respondents saying it is a good substitute to fixed line telephony.

The survey, which was limited to residential users, was carried out via telephone interviews after respondents were chosen at random. A total of 800 households participated in this survey.

Of 447 who said they frequently made international calls, 21% said they used Skype while 59% use the Ten21 service, that connects users to a VoIP (Voiceover Internet Protocol) service.

Voice and SMS revenues can fall under pressure from substitution by cheap messaging services like WhatsApp – owned by Facebook – which also provides voice calling, as well as Google’s Hangouts, Apple’s Facetime, and Skype, which is owned by Microsoft.

But the MCA survey found only 4% of all households that were considering terminating their fixed line connection during the next 12 months, presumably to use other means of communications such as mobile telephony, confirming that fixed telephony services are still considered to be an important component of the Maltese household. 

Interestingly, 77% of households view the mobile phone to be a good substitute for a fixed line. In the 2013 survey, 72% of households held this perception.

The MCA survey also found that 58% of GO subscribers and 61% of Melita subscribers have their telephone line connection as part of a bundle. 

In terms of pricing, the majority of respondents perceive landline calls to another landline to be cheap or reasonably priced.  But 69% said that landline calls to the mobile phone are still expensive.

In a corresponding survey on bundles, which shows consumers are motivated by pricing and convenience when buying a package of services, it’s the Internet that is considered to be the most important service for households when selecting their bundle. 

79% of households with a bundle offer were satisfied or highly satisfied with the service they receive.

But of those who are not quite satisfied, 49% cite frequent disconnections, 21% mention billing issues and 10% say customer care is bad.

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