Recently, Dean Bubbley has written an interesting blog post about how most industrial nations are beyond “peak telephony”, i.e. the number of voice minutes in fixed line and mobile networks combined is decreasing. When the German regulator published its report for 2014 a couple of days ago I had a closer look here as well to see what the situation is in Germany. And indeed, we are clearly past peak telephony as well.
And here are the numbers:
In 2014, fixed line networks saw 154 billion outgoing minutes in Germany which is 9 billion minutes less than last year. On the mobile side they've been observing an increase of 1 billion minutes. In total that's 8 billion minutes less than the previous year, which is about -3%. The trend has been going on for quite a while now. In 2010, combined fixed and mobile outgoing voice minutes were at 295 billion compared to 265 minutes in 2014. That's 11% less over that time frame.
A question the numbers can't answer is where those voice minutes have gone. Have they been replaced by the ever growing traffic of instant messaging apps such as Whatsapp or have the been replaced by Internet based IP voice and video telephony such as Skype? I'd speculate that it's probably both to a similar degree.