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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 21, 2011

Rebtel: US immigrants phoning home on video

Watch out, Ma Bell. When it comes to calling home, the US immigrant population isn't choosing you. They are calling home, or rather video messaging home, via smartphones with video access. According to the report 24% of US immigrants own a smartphone and have used a video callings service on their mobile or PC.

by Kristina Knight

That is about 5 million American residents.

rebtel.pngIn an earlier report, Rebtel researchers found that Apple operating systems, primarily the iPad, was the preferred system. About 66% of immigrants replied they preferred iPad. The new report takes that research one step further, finding that these consumers aren't just browsing the mobile web or texting, they are using video chat options on their smartphones to call friends or relatives in their home countries.

According to the report one-quarter of these consumers are using smartphones to video-chat, with most preferring Skype (74% of women, 42% of men). Women are more likely to use free options in video chats while men are more likely to pay for the service.

"Skype is the clear leader when it comes to the preferred method of how US immigrant and first generation Americans choose to make video calls," said Andreas Bernstrom, Rebtel CEO. "Facetime and Yahoo Messenger not only have some serious catching up to do, but they'll have to be much more aggressive if they truly want to distance themselves from other competing services like Tango, which appear to be closing ground quickly."

Rebtel is the second-largest mobile VoIP service, behind Skype, in the world. For the report, researchers polled more than 1,300 US immigrants.

Tags: immigrant demographic, mobile consumers, mobile marketing, mobile trends, Rebtel

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