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Smart and Reliable: Skype Accounts For 12% Of All International Calls

The increase in usage of Skype to make phone calls (not just Skype-to-Skype, but from Skype to land lines and cell phones) has been impressive, and I can think of some reasons for this phenomenon:

- Pricing: Skype competes with great per-minute fees everywhere. The local competition does not come from local phone companies (all of them with higher prices than Skype), but from calling-card ones: in countries like Spain, calling-card fees are comparable to the ones offered by Skype, and there is no need for a computer (or an expensive smart-phone) to place the calls.

- Globalization and Localization: Skype can be downloaded and used almost everywhere in the World. They have also made a great job localizing the software, and making it a success in non English speaking countries.

- Product: Skype is easy to use, provides a reliable service, and solves a real need of customers.


VoIP services juggernaut Skype has seen its share of international calling minutes jump to 12% in 2009, a 50% increase compared to the year before. And as you can tell from the pie chart below, 54 billion minutes out of 406 billion in total were accumulated by users calling each other Skype-to-Skype last year.

Skype-pie International Calls (in minutes) and Share of Skype (12% of total)



Tracy Sparks

I traveled to 5 Continents and lived with families in eastern Europe. Family use of Skype in eastern europe is off the charts and even while I was in Africa, I found lots of users in remote areas. Even leaving it on all day,Talking and watching each other while they do their work. It seems Oprah had to bring Skype to US attention and it is amazing how I need to coddle my US friends and family to get on skype and talk to make FREE calls . It is a great connector!

Tracy, thanks for your comment! I myself have my family in four different countries, and thanks to Skype I can talk to them as if they were sitting with me at the dining table, and keep the connection as if we were living in the same city (actually, with some of them, Skype -- or daily communication, no matter how -- has increased and enhanced our relationship.

I've also heard about music lessons via Skype, which might be a new business opportunity for some :-)

Tracy Sparks

Some of us in the Peace Corps do language tutoring via skype as well. That way we get a mix of local dialect and the national languages. There are a myriad of possibilities.

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