Not surprisingly, Skype continues to erode the bottom line of mobile carriers as the popularity of it and other VoIP calling platforms continues to increase rapidly.

Research from analysis firm Telegeography confirms that though voice minutes saw a 5 percent increase in 2012 to 490 billion minutes, Skype alone saw its own usage grow 44 percent to a whopping 167 billion minutes. This increase of nearly 51 billion minutes is more than twice that achieved by all international carriers in the world, combined. As call volumes continue to grow, so do the challenges facing the international long-distance industry.

International migration, the rapid uptake of mobile phones in developing countries, and steady reductions in international call prices—especially in the form of flat-rate (and even free) calling plans—have contributed to traffic increases. Nevertheless, recent growth rates are well below the 13% average that carriers could count on to offset price declines over much of the past 20 years.

International voice traffic would have grown 13% in 2012 had it not been for the uptake of Skype according to the report, which shows that although international calls through the carriers have not declined, the number of callers choosing VoIP apps over carriers has risen.

The pressure on carriers is only going to increase as time goes on; VoIP apps will continue to grow in popularity and will reach a user base of at least one billion by 2017 according to an earlier report from Juniper Research.

  • Anna Warren

    That’s why all those international carriers should just do what Truphone and OneSim did and provide both SIM and app services.

  • Chris R

    I agree with this article. I know myself almost always use VoIP apps for like 80% of my calling now. example when i am at my home desk I might make a call from my laptop it is easier I do not have to reach for a phone than unlock it etc etc..

    when I am at my office I know all the phone are VoIP for sure.
    and we even have a App that we use for work to make VoIP calls
    here is a list of all the VoIP Apps and services I use on a day to day

    #1 Skype
    #2 Google (Voice,Hangouts etc etc)
    #3 Scopia (Work App allows for HD Video Conferencing and a bunch of other things)
    #4 BroadConnect ( They are a service provider we use Scopia through them)
    #5 Comwave (EPhone App) *I only sometimes use this. I joined for the Free Local number they give you

    I can see that VoIP is going to take over in the long run everywhere I go I see people using VoIP related services now a days.

    • Bob Crane

      Google Voice isn’t VoIP without a SIP service to make it such (even though I think Google should take the natural approach and make it a VoIP service), but I use a lot of mobile VoIP apps too. I hardly ever use my phone without VoIP anymore, so I switched to Maxroam for my phone service (trutower.com/maxroam/) so I didn’t have to worry about paying a sky-high monthly fee or about international roaming charges. Life’s been good ever since lol

      • Chris R

        Yes I know you are right, but I still consider it VoIp like even tho I know technically it is not.

        • http://twitter.com/ZackKennedy Zack Kennedy

          I agree it should be one though. To be honest, it feels like Google has just decided to give up on Voice completely. They haven’t done anything with it other than change the contacts to Google Contacts in the last year.