A market research done by TeleGeography regarding the growth of the telecom industry in 2012 has found nothing unusual when it comes to international telephone traffic. The research results show that traffic grew 5 percent last year, to 490 billion minutes, the kind of low growth figure that is typical to the industry. However, the more significant revelation made by TeleGeography has to do with Microsoft’s Skype, Google Hangout and other similar voice and video calling services.
According to TeleGeography estimates international skype-to-skype voice and video calls saw a growth last year of 44 percent, to 167 billion minutes. “This increase of nearly 51 billion minutes is more than twice that achieved by all international carriers in the world, combined,” reads the press release. In other words, if Skype traffic growth is added to regular international voice traffic the growth figure goes up from 5 percent to 13 percent. This clearly indicates that though the number of people of using telephones has not gone down more and more people are opting for internet based calling services like Skype.
“The pressure on carriers will continue to mount in the coming years,” said TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert. “While Skype is the best-known voice application, it’s far from the only challenger to the PSTN. Google (Talk and Voice), WeChat (Weixin), Viber, Nimbuzz, Line, and KakaoTalk have also become popular. And, perhaps most ominously for telcos, Facebook recently added a free voice calling feature to its Messenger application.”
Earlier this week Skype released Skype 6.2 for Windows and Mac with several new updates. This includes a couple of useful features such as “eGifting” and one way SMS on Mac. eGifting gives users the ability to gift Skype credits to others which can be redeemed by the recipient anytime, while one way SMS on Mac works without mobile number verification.