While the rise of wireless phone services in the last decade is well documented, not as much attention has been made to the rise of the Internet for phone calls by users. Now a newly released study from the research group PEW Internet claims that 24 percent of all adult Internet users in the US have used the Internet to make phone calls. That amount is equal to 19 percent of all US adults. In addition, the report claims that on an average day, 5 percent of Internet users are making calls via the Internet. The results come from a new survey of 2,277 US adults that was conducted over the past few weeks.
This is a huge jump from a previous survey conducted in 2007 where the study found that just 8 percent of all Internet users in the US were making phone calls on the Internet and only 2 percent of Internet users were making phone calls on any given day. While PEW Internet admits that the wording of its survey might have changed the results somewhat, it states, " ... there is little doubt that the popularity of online phone calling has picked up over time for several reasons." Those reasons include cheaper or free phone calls via the Internet, more people using the Internet for video conferencing and more smartphones being made with Internet phone capabilities.
This rise in Internet based phone call use has to please Microsoft who recently paid $8.5 billion to acquire the popular Internet phone service company Skype.