Skype International Calls Booming

The VoIP provider logged a 63% growth rate in international call volume in 2009.

William Gardner

January 20, 2010

1 Min Read
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Already enjoying spectacular overall growth rates, Skype's international call volume logged a 63% growth rate in 2009, according to a research report released this week.

TeleGeography, which has compiled metrics on telecom calls for nearly 20 years, released figures indicating that Skype is continuing to take business from international carriers and that the VoIP provider's business is accelerating at the expense of those carriers.

"Skype is now the largest provider of cross-border communications in the world, by far," said TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert in a statement. "The proliferation of alternatives to telephone calls -- including Skype for mobile devices, and Google's gradual entry into the voice market -- will present ever greater challenges to international carriers."

TeleGeography noted that growth of calls through international carriers has been slowing -- to an 8% annually compounded rate from its historical rate of 15%.

Skype, which recently was spun out as a separate company from eBay, supplies on-net international traffic -- between two or more Skype users -- to more than 520 million registered users. The firm's key source of revenue is generated when Skype calls are completed on traditional carrier networks, usually for pennies a minute.

Beckert said traffic to Mexico, the world's largest calling destination, has been declining recently to 4% during 2008. He added that the current recession has negatively impacted many calling routes.

"Demand for international voice had been remarkably robust, but it's clearly not recession-proof," said Beckert.

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