Globarange Index reveals: when it comes to long distance calling,
friends are the new family
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - From online social networks to instant
messaging, we live in an age where communication is immediate, convenient and
always close at hand. Yet, even with the proliferation of new technologies,
the home telephone remains one of the top means of long distance communication
for Canadians. According to the Globarange Index released today(1), 84 per
cent of Canadians take great pleasure in keeping in touch with friends and
family abroad by talking on the phone.
"These days, there are so many different ways to stay in touch with
friends and family, but being able to hear a loved one's voice remains a
valued method of communication for Canadians," says David MacDonald, Group
Vice President, Consumer Research, Environics Research Group. "And what's
interesting is not only that Canadians are making frequent long distance
calls, but also who they are calling."
Who's on the speed dial? Family or friends?
And who ranks highest on Canadians' international priority calling list?
Is it friends, family or business associates? Surprisingly, nearly
three-quarters (68 per cent) of survey respondents say they keep closer
telephone contact with friends outside of the country than with family members
(56 per cent). On average, Canadians speak to 7.3 friends compared to just 4.6
family members. The only group which remains most likely to keep in touch with
family members above anyone else is immigrants, 89 per cent of who maintain
contact with an average of 5.8 relatives.
"Popular wisdom has always been that most personal long distance phone
calls take place between family members," says MacDonald. "But we're seeing an
interesting trend develop showing that most people are picking up the phone
not because of duty or obligation to contact relatives abroad, but because of
an optional desire to stay in touch with far away friends."
But it's not all pleasure. When it comes to business, more than one-third
(38 per cent) of Canadians have associates they speak to outside of Canada
and, of those individuals, they call an average of 15.3 associates.
And not only is just about everyone talking on the phone, they are
talking often. It is apparent that Canadians are keeping the phone lines busy
with 43 per cent of Canadians making long distance calls at least once a week,
and a further 29 per cent calling internationally at least once a month.
The life stages of long distance
When it comes to the age of individuals who are contacting friends,
family and business associates, the results are indicative of the callers'
stage in life. Canadians aged 18-24 are more likely to call family members,
those aged 25-34 call more friends and individuals aged 35-44 are more likely
to call business associates. This trend can be directly related to stages in
life - going away to school, staying in touch with friends met in school and
beginning a career.
From landline to cyberspace - traditional phone meets modern
Since nearly half of Canadians are making long distance calls every week
and an overwhelming majority (80 per cent) are connecting with people abroad
in an average of 3.1 countries, it is no wonder, then, that the long distance
market is expanding with new methods of communication.
An emerging means of telecommunications is Voice Over Internet Protocol
(VoIP) broadband technology, developed to meet the contemporary communication
needs of today's consumers. VoIP marries the traditional landline with modern
internet-based technology. The benefits of VoIP service, such as Panasonic's
new Globarange, include free or low-cost long distance calls without the
hassle of being tied to a computer or necessity for external adaptors.
Globarange's distinct two-line hybrid handset allows users to seamlessly
switch between landline and internet (VoIP), providing a solution for users
who want to add VoIP service but do not want to lose access to their current
landline connection. Furthermore, Globarange users enjoy free calling between
Globarange phones throughout the world(2).
"With VoIP technology, the immediate gratification most of us enjoy
through instant communication such as text messaging or email can still be met
through a telephone conversation," says Mike Ota, Director, Panasonic
"But, we also know that more and more households are acquiring broadband
internet access. And although the home telephone might seem like one of our
most old-fashioned communication devices, telecommunications technology has
evolved and adapted to meet contemporary communication methods, such as VoIP."
In fact, with access to a VoIP unlimited long distance service, the
percentage of Canadians who said they would make long distance calls to
family, friends and business associates on a weekly basis increased from 43 to
51 per cent.
"Through our research, we found that a quarter of Canadians have tried or
considered switching to VoIP, and we expect this number to increase as people
become more informed about the advantages of this service," says Ota. "The
continued globalization of the workplace and families dispersing
geographically hasn't decreased - and, in fact, has intensified - people's
need and desire to collaborate and stay in touch. This trend is evident in
Canadians' long distance calling habits and in the parallel emergence of new
technologies, such as VoIP and Globarange, which facilitate communication."
Globarange BB-GT1500B with one handset will be introduced with a
manufacturer's suggested price (MSP) of $129.95. The 2-Handset Globarange
BB-GT1502B will have a MSP of $169.95. MSP for the Globarange BB-GT1540 with
digital answering system and dual keypads will be $179.95. Globarange will be
carried by key Panasonic retail dealers such as Future Shop, Best Buy,
Staples, London Drugs, and Sears.
Panasonic personal communications products are marketed in Canada by
Panasonic Canada Inc. (PCI). PCI is a principal Canadian subsidiary of
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (MEI) of Japan, one of the world's
largest producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business,
and industrial use. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Consumers seeking more
information on the company's products can call Panasonic's Customer Care
Centre at 1-800-561-5505 or access Panasonic's home page at www.panasonic.ca.
(1) Globarange Index was commissioned by Panasonic and conducted by
Environics Research Group.
(2) Globarange is available in USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong,
UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany, and Austria. Free service limited to
calls between Globarange telephones.
Please note additional materials available:
- Backgrounder/fact sheet on VoIP and Globarange
- Globarange Index - 2007 survey of long distance calling trends in
- Product images
- News release announcing Panasonic's collaboration with deltathree
(VoIP service provider)
For further information:
For further information: and to arrange an interview with Mike Ota,
Director, Panasonic Communications Group, or David MacDonald, Group Vice
President, Consumer Research, Environics Research Group please contact:
Elizabeth Goldenshtein, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2717,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Julienne Spence, Environics Communications,
(416) 969-2765, email@example.com