Traditional circuit-switched voice calls are declining rapidly, with VoIP and mobile messaging services taking over as the preferred method of communication.
This is according to Connection Telecom MD Dave Meintjes, who was speaking at the annual MyBroadband Cloud and Hosting Conference.
“Looking at the last 20 years for international voice terminated traffic, we saw an acceleration of volumes with the adoption of mobile voice,” said Meintjes.
He said mobile voice yielded massive growth in the period 1995-2010, but this growth hit a ceiling in 2013, and is now flat.
“Year-on-year growth declined to next to nothing in the last two years.”
While traditional circuit-switch voice volumes declined, VoIP traffic saw strong growth in recent years.
Meintjes said voice has lost market share to messaging services like WhatsApp “in a big way” since 2012.
He warned that while mobile messaging is currently mainly used for consumer-to-consumer communication, the next wave of messaging will hit corporate communications.
“If you are not prepared you will miss the boat,” said Meintjes.
The graph below shows international call volumes and growth rates between 1995 and 2015.
It should be noted that Skype call volumes are not reflected in the graph, which currently represent around 50% of total international volumes.
OTT messaging and voice services killing traditional voice
Meintjes said decent broadband access with 3G and 4G mobile networks in emerging markets has grown from a 5% footprint in 2010 to 28% in 2015.
“This has enabled OTT messaging and voice services to cannibalize the growth in terminated/originated voice,” said Meintjes.
As an example, OTT services took 8% of the voice market share globally in 2015 alone.
The graph below shows the impact of OTT services on voice traffic growth over the last five years.