Skype is world's largest international voice carrier

Skype became the largest long-distance phone company in 2008, delivering 8% of all international traffic, says Telegeography.

In total, 417 billion minutes worth of long distance calls were made in 2008, up 12% from 2007 - two points lower than in 2007, where minutes grew 14%, Telegeography said.  

By contrast, international Skype traffic grew 41% last year to 33 billion minutes. Around a quarter - 8.4 billion - of these minutes were from Skype's paid-for SkypeOut service, generating revenue for wholesale international carriers.

"Skype's traffic growth has been remarkable - only five years after its launch, Skype has emerged as the largest provider of cross-border voice communications in the world," TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert said.

Against the growth in traffic, ILD revenues have been mainly flat due to declining call prices. The average price for an international call has fallen by over 80% in the last 15 years, and declined 7% in 2007.

ILD traffic grew from 71.7 billion minutes in 1997 to 343 billion minutes in 2007, Telegeography said.