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Skype grabs 4.4% of international voice traffic

Fridays headline from Telegeography reads International carriers’ traffic grows despite Skype popularity.  Telegeography compares 2005 to 2006 share of minutes for Skype, VoIP carriers and Switched Traffic carriers.  There’s a pair of pretty pie charts which shows that total traffic increased from 272 billion minutes in 2005 to 313 billion in 2006.  VoIP traffic moved from 16.6% to 19.8%, and Skype traffic from 2.8% to 4.4%.  Naturally, the switched guys lost share.

4.4% of the global long distance traffic passing through Skype is a pretty amazing statistic.  However, the absolute numbers tell an even more interesting tale.

   2005  2006  Annual Growth Rate
 VoIP  45.2  62.0  37%
 Switched  219.2  273.3  8%
 Skype  7.6  13.8  81%
 Total  272  313  

While in absolute terms, switched traffic continues to grow, it’s clearly growing much more slowly than VoIP, or Skype traffic.  Skype has nearly doubled its volume in just 12 months.  Telegeography forecasts that Skype will do 27 billion minutes of traffic this year.  If total traffic increases at the stately 15% of the past year, then Skype’s share by end of 2007 will be 7.5%.  And, if VoIP traffic continues to grab share as it has previously, then growth in switched traffic will slow to a measly 4.6%.

Not bad for a band of latter day Robin Hood’s from Estonia. 

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Ben December 3, 2006, 8:46 pm

    This is interesting, and I'm wondering how the conclusion is made since Skype encrypted all its voice/data stream. Another question is: assuming other VoIP providers are also gaining ground, such as Vonage, the Canadian VoIP Provider Vbuzzer, Packet8, and Net2Phone, are they not making an aggregate of Skype's volume together?

  • Alec December 4, 2006, 3:09 am

    Good questions, Ben, and I don't know the answers. My assumption, from the way that the data is presented, is that Skype is being compared to companies like ITXC, and Teleglobe, rather than Packet8, or Vonage.

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