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Skype Thrives On International Calls

12/01/2006 01:08:00 PM Eastern

Washington — Roughly half of PC VoIP provider Skype’s voice traffic is international, according to the research firm TeleGeography.

The firm noted that Skype users will make over 27 billion minutes of PC-to-PC calls this year, having made 6.6 billion minutes worth of calls in the third quarter. Skype calls to other Skype users are free of charge.

When stacked up against traditional international carriers, however, Skype still represents a small fraction of the 264 billion global minutes carried on other VoIP and circuit-switched lines.

In 2005, Skype minutes represented 2.9 percent of all international voice traffic, TeleGeography noted. In 2006, the eBay-owned company grabbed 4.4 percent of total international minutes. Other VoIP services carried 16.6 percent of international calls in 2005 and nearly 20 percent in 2006, the firm reported.

Skype’s popularity, like its international minutes, has steadily grown since the software was launched in 2004 - from a million simultaneous users in its first six months to 8 million today. It has 136 million total registered users worldwide, the firm said.