Daiwa EuroTelcoblog No. 48: Wednesday, 16th June, 2004 - Mapping VoIP usage
Following on from yesterday's piece on efforts to locate and map Wi-Fi nodes around the world, late yesterday we came across a similar image from Xten Networks (OTC: XNWK), a US firm supplying SIP softphone clients to a number of well-known access-independent VoIP service providers. Company co-founder Erik Lagerway, in his personal weblog, provided a link to an image showing geographical distribution of the Xten softphones downloaded to date by users of Free World Dialup (FWD), a free SIP community we first wrote about more than 18 months ago, but which is second only to Skype in size of user base. Since FWD's launch, Xten has seen 139,000 downloads of its softphones for use with FWD, and is seeing over 500 new downloads each day from FWD users. The link to the image can be found here (www.xten.com/images/xten-xlite-fwd_map.jpg). Each dot on the map represents a location where downloads have occurred, and may represent individual or multiple downloads. As with yesterday's map of Wi-Fi access points, it is clear from this that VoIP (at least in the case of Free World Dialup, though Skype's breakdown presented at VON Europe last week was very similar) is still an overwhelmingly North American and European phenomenon (with Japan as an obvious exception). It is also interesting to see parallels between concentrations of Wi-Fi nodes and FWD users (heavy in UK, Benelux, Denmark, lighter in Spain, France and Italy) Whether this relates to language, overall awareness, or other factors is interesting to ponder, but ultimately unknowable. We are also interested in the apparent concentrations of FWD users in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and throughout Central Europe. We are currently attempting to establish contact with Erik Lagerway of Xten to learn more about his plans for a P2P telephony service (another new entrant into the Skype space) provisionally named peerSee.