Microsoft’s Skype service broke records last year after it grew its traffic by 44 per cent to broadcast over 167 billion minutes of voice and video traffic.
According to CNet, while international phone traffic usually sees slow annual growth of around five per cent, Skype’s increase was more than twice the combined rate of all the international networks.
“The pressure on carriers will continue to mount in the coming years,” said Stephan Beckert, an analyst with TeleGeography – the research firm that compiled the findings.
“While Skype is the best-known voice application, it's far from the only challenger to the public switched telephone network. Google, WeChat, 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.”