A lot has been said the last few days about the Telegeography report about Skype being the biggest long distance provider in the world.
I'm not at all surprised and would have been shocked if it had been any other way. Here's why:
1) People who never talked before by phone have started to talk now by Skype for voice.
2) The Internet and VoIP has pulled a lot of that traffic off the long lines business side of the telcos in general, so in a declining market, a new player offering the same thing you paid for before for free or at a lower price is going to gain traction fast.
3) Skype is not a high wire act on a tight rope like Cirque du Soleil that we know from the gambling mecca of Las Vegas (where CTIA is next week) as they have become a very well grounded and focused company the last year at selling minutes to people who need them, with hugh quality. In essence the have become what Vonage wanted to be to the IP connected world but beyond the USA.
4) The bulk of Skype's user base is International, not USA domestic. As such the audience is already more International in calling. We in the USA are likely the biggest single domestic market per capita for calling, but now days almost every call in the USA can be a local, bundled or flat rate call anyway, so take those minutes away from the grand total, as we're not a factor in the aggregate number.
Bottom line Skype has become the world first global telco and they did it over every telco's own network at some point in time while they were watching.