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About 13 percent of international voice traffic is now carried by Internet telephony, the low-cost, feature-rich technology lately being introduced to consumers.

Although less than one-fifth of 1 percent of U.S. phone lines use a Voice over Internet Protocol phone service such as Vonage, the technology is making huge inroads behind the scenes, in long-distance networks and at big companies, according to a new report by TeleGeography.

The 13 percent of global phone traffic that analyst Stephan Beckert estimates is now transported via voice over IP accounts for nearly 24.5 billion minutes a year. In 2002, voice over IP’s share of international traffic was 10 percent; it was 4 percent in 2000.

TeleGeography said its research “suggests that VoIP can transform a century-old business in just a few years.”

— Associated Press

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