"Skype is now the largest provider of cross border communications in the world, by far," Beckert said. "The proliferation of alternatives to telephone calls—including Skype for mobile devices, and Google's gradual entry into the voice market—will present ever greater challenges to international carriers."
Beckert added: "Over the past 25 years, international call volume from telephones has grown at a compounded annual rate of 15 percent. In the past two years, however, international telephone traffic annual growth has slowed to only eight percent, growing from 376 billion minutes in 2008 to an estimated 406 billion minutes in 2009. The deep recession has had a marked impact on many routes. Demand for international voice has been remarkably robust, but it's clearly not recession-proof."
According to Skype's chief evangelist, Sten Tamkivi, addressing the Emerging Communications Conference 2009 Europe in Amsterdam in November 2009, Skype served over one billion call minutes per year, with one third using video. "Those minutes are generated by about 520 million users that live in 225 countries...pretty much every single country and territory in the world."