After two years of unprecedented growth in global cross-border calling, international telephone traffic increased just 10 percent in 2001, the slowest growth rate in 20 years, contends a new report from market researcher TeleGeography Inc. Furthermore, international call revenue plunged by $10 billion in 2001, the largest single-year decline on record.
"In many respects, 2001 marked the end of the post-liberalization boom for international telephone services," explains Stephan Beckert, research director at TeleGeography. "Following a string of market openings in the late 1990s, competition--and corresponding price wars--spurred traffic around the world. But, by 2001, price cuts failed to generate proportionate increases in call volumes."
Worldwide, international call volumes reached 154 billion minutes in 2001, up from 139 billion in 2000. Despite the drastic decrease in the overall growth rate, some incumbent carriers reported impressive gains. After three straight years of eroding market share, Deutsche Telekom saw its share of the German market increase in 2001. In the U.S., AT&T experienced a 2.5 billion minute increase in call volumes and a $500 million increase in international call revenues.
The source of these statistics, "TeleGeography 2003", is the 13th annual survey of international telecommunications from TeleGeography. The report provides route-by-route call volumes for over 120 countries, plus carrier market shares, Voice-over-IP route rankings, mobile traffic statistics, and detailed analyses of international call costs, prices, and revenues.
For more information about TeleGeography (Washington, D.C.) or its research, visit the company's Web site at www.telegeography.com.