International voice-over-IP traffic grew 23% in 2003, respectable by most standards, but far below the 80 percent growth rate of previous years. Global VoIP volumes appear to be reaccelerating in 2004, however, and should achieve 40% growth by the end of the year.
“The slowdown in 2003 was due, in part, to the growing maturity of the industry, and partially due to temporary setbacks in a few key destination countries,” said TeleGeography analyst Patrick Christian.
Despite this temporary slow-down, VoIP is still growing at twice the rate of traditional switched voice, and now accounts for 11% of international calls. According to TeleGeography’s latest research results, global voice traffic reached nearly 200 billion minutes in 2003, 22 billion of which was carried over the Internet. The impact of VoIP technology is greatest on routes into developing markets, where high settlement costs make VoIP a worthwhile alternative. For example, VoIP traffic to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh more than doubled in 2003. In markets like these, VoIP can account for a quarter or more of incoming calls.
The data and analyses cited above are excerpted from TeleGeography’s flagship research service on international voice traffic, carriers, and pricing. To learn more about susbcription options and the factors affecting the global voice market, including VoIP carriers and traffic, mobile telephony, pricing trends, and historical calling patterns, visit our web site.
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