The Verdict

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April 29, 2006


David Foster

"But that’s less than 4% of registered users actually online"...what percentage of telephone subscribers are typically "online" at any one time? This information is necessary for traffic planning, and could surely be found without much difficulty. A better comparison would probably be: what percentage of telco subscribers are online for *long distance calls* at any one time?

It's not obvious to me that 4% is an improbably low number.

Daniel M. Harrison

David - sorry to take so long to reply. That's an interesting point but I don't think it's really comparable since someone using a Skype phone would have to be online to receive calls. It's more like saying how often do you have the telephone cord plugged in so that you can make and receive calls, or how often do you have your mobile/cell phone turned on? The answer I suspect is that probably more than 4% of those who use a cell phone have it switched on at any one time.

The fact is that IF 100 million Skype users were REGULAR users there would surely be more than 4% who would have their device activated at any one time in order to receive calls (they're active users and therefore willing to receive calls, remember).

I would assume Skype must realise the misleading nature of this announcement.

Charles Punt

I'm not sure what the press release is intended. One can assume it is to boost the attractiveness of the brand. In other word, by attempting to convince the general public that Skype has a wide user base, hovping that the press release would grab the public attention and turn the cynics and the hesitents into users.

Lastly, from purely psychological point on view. The press release serves as self-fulfillment prophecy and an attemp to justify their purchase of the company.

Anyway, this is just speculative. Who really know what's their real situation. But I agree with DMH that the figure is unlikely. If they are playing that kind of ball, one that I'm thinking, then they are walking a dangerous path.

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