Skype is just a few months away from its 10th birthday, and according to a new report the Microsoft subsidiary has achieved something worth celebrating. Analyst firm Telegeography Skype now represents a third of all global calling each month, an impressive milestone for the company.
According to Telegeography, Skype’s free voice and video calling services represented a whopping 167 billion minutes in 2012, up 51 billion minutes from the year before. In fact, if you were to listen to every conversation on Skype last year alone, it’d take you more than 300,000 years to finish. The 167 billion minutes may be only a fraction of the 490 billion minutes overall, but it’s more than any other telecom company out there. This is a truly remarkable milestone for Skype, and a sign that, while still young, Skype has a lot going on, and is certainly no longer the small, up-and-coming VoIP service it was a few years ago. It also poses questions as to the challenges Skype will face in the coming years as it continues to grow and attract users from all over the world.
Telegeography also reported something less astonishing: the dwindling strength of traditional telecom companies. While the majority of carriers outside the America saw an increase in minutes served, Verizon is continuing to see a drop as Americans drop traditional phone lines in favor of cell phones and VoIP services like Google Talk and Skype. 2012 was certainly a victory for Skype, and yet another reminder that telecom companies need to transition away from traditional landline phones and toward new, innovative ways of thinking.