Accelerating Innovation

Unbound Spiral: Welcome to Skype Country

October 26, 2003 10:22 AM

How big is Skype Country? How quickly are the settlers moving in? It is time to start thinking about Skypers like we think about country statistics. Already it is a group too small to ignore. As we approach 2 million downloads and 120000 Skypers online we are looking at an interesting group of people.

Let's introduce some numbers from the 2001 New Zealand Census. At that time they had 1.24 million housholds with access to a phone and 482K with access to the internet. It's a real country. Is Skype already bigger?

In Skype Country everyone has Internet even if only 50% completed the install and began using it. We are still approaching ONE MILLION SKYPEPHONES.

Skype Mini Downloads.jpg

View Large Graph

Statistics like these raise more questions than answers. I'm still not sure how Skype counts entries into the cloud (or exits). So let's just stick with the idea that Skype Country is a very habitable place, rapidy growing.

I'd also spend a moment to think about how people are spending their time in Skype country. Some are working hard, using Skype as a new work tool. Others are using it for more personal connections. In the end... Skypers are likely to be spending more time in front of their computers, away from traditional phones and possibly more away from the TV.

That means there are marketing implications for Skype Country. Take a tour, immigrate, see what you think. Some early settlers are already putting down stakes and claims.

Perspective Note:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) publishes an annual report which gives an overview of telephone usage in the United States. The most recent data were for 1997. Since US local calls are unmetered, the call cost being included in a flat-rate monthly tariff, the FCC gave an estimate that 2,683 billion local dial equipment minutes were used in 1997. This was based on a complete two week measurement of all local, intrastate and interstate phone traffic which the FCC requires every telephone service provider in the US to perform each year. When this two-week data set is expanded to a full year, the FCC considers the yearly figure to be accurate to within 10%. Because dial equipment minute data counts double for each phone call minute, and because it also includes the dialing and ring time, the FCC advises that it should be divided by 2.07 in order to convert it to phone call minutes. On this basis, 2,683 billion dial equipment minutes equates to 1,296 billion phone minutes or 20.3 minutes per day of local phone calls per local loop. Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications - Features



Comments (1)

I couldn't help but notice that your timescale (x-axis) is non-linear. There are mixed intervals (7,3,2 days) This makes the graph less useful and I think you should redraw it. It would be especially interesting to see what happened in the past two weeks, because intuitively I would say the line is flattening and the growth rate has decreased over this period.

Posted by: Titus Nachbauer at November 7, 2003 11:13 AM