Skype continues to outpace traditional voice providers in the international telephony market segment as its traffic rose 36 percent, to 214 billion minutes in 2013, says TeleGeography in a new report.
Overall international mobile and wireline telephone traffic rose nearly 7 percent during the year to 547 billion minutes. But these growth rates trail the 13 percent average that traditional service providers enjoyed for the past two decades and growth has been offset by rapidly declining prices.
By comparison, Skype added about 54 billion minutes of traffic in 2013, which is 50 percent more than all of the international volume growth of every telco.
"Given these immense traffic volumes, it's difficult not to conclude that at least some of Skype's growth is coming at the expense of traditional carriers," said TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert.
While Skype and alternative over-the-top (OTT) communications applications providers like Facebook Messenger and Viber continue to grow in popularity, they still trail the public switched telephone network (PSTN), Beckert added.
"The rapid spread of OTT services is making life ever more challenging for international service providers, but the PSTN will not disappear anytime soon," he said. "No other network comes close to matching the global reach of the PSTN. While Facebook has approximately 1.2 billion monthly users, at year-end 2013, the PSTN connected to just over 8 billion fixed and mobile subscribers worldwide."
Annual growth in Skype vs. international phone traffic. (Source: Telegeography)
- TeleGeography has this report
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