WorldCom has emerged as the largest international long-distance carrier in the world, claims the latest report from Washington, DC-based research firm TeleGeography. WorldCom's rise marks AT&T's fall; in 2000--for the first time since competition was permitted in the U.S.--AT&T lost its hold on the top spot.
From the U.S., WorldCom carried 12.4 billion minutes of international telephone calls in 2000, well over runner-up AT&T's 9.7 billion minutes. WorldCom's wholly-owned overseas operations carried a further 4.4 billion minutes, giving it the number one global carrier ranking with a total of 16.8 billion minutes, claims the report. The multinational operations of Concert, the dissolving global venture of AT&T and British incumbent BT, came in second for 2000 with a total of 14.3 billion minutes.
Around the world, former monopoly telephone companies have been losing ground to new competitors. TeleGeography's recent report, "TeleGeography 2002," found that over 31 percent of the world's international phone calls last year were carried by new companies founded in the 1990s. Four years before, new competitors carried less than 10 percent of global voice traffic.
Worldwide, international call volumes reached 132.7 billion minutes in 2000, a higher than normal annual growth of 21 percent. Growth was particularly strong in the highly competitive markets of North America and Western Europe, most of which posted annual gains of more than 20 percent.
Total revenues from international telephone calls increased by approximately five percent in 2000, to over $70 billion, claims the report.
"I think many people are under the false impression that the international long-distance industry is in a state of decline," contends research director Stephan Beckert. "They're not fully aware of how huge the industry is, or that revenues are continuing to grow."
The 12th annual survey of international telecommunications from TeleGeography, "Telegeography 2002" examines cross-border call volumes for over 100 countries, as well as carrier market shares, Voice-over-IP route rankings, retail and wholesale call prices, and detailed analyses of international traffic to and from mobile telephones. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.telegeography.com.