I frequently hear this cry coming from the street below, as tour guides in open-top tour buses pass by, shouting it through their bullhorns. Curiously, Daiwa's office seems to always be the place in the tour where they decide to discuss the London Plague, though we had nothing to do with that (and I have a disclaimer to prove it!). Luckily, we don't face such catastrophic contagions today, but if you're a telco, you might understandably feel that your immune system is weakening.
UK telcos, sit down, have a nice cool drink, and take your blood pressure medication before reading on - you really aren't going to like this one. The good people over at web traffic and search analysis specialists Hitwise have kindly supplied me with the following data - Skype is the number three telecom brand in the UK, on the basis of website visits. Hitwise sent me some wonderful graphics which I am unable to reproduce here (maybe they will be kind enough to include them in an upcoming newsletter), but the gist is as follows:
- Within the telecommunications category, Skype's share of weekly web traffic in the UK has risen from just over 4% in January to 10.4% at the end of April.
- On a monthly basis in the telecom category, Skype took 9.5% of web traffic in the UK, more than Orange and Vodafone combined.
- "Skype" as a search term is ten times more popular than "VoIP" (I guess in the same way that "Coke," "Scotch tape," or "Hoover" are often used more commonly than their generic identifiers).
So, there's a virus loose in TelcoTown, and it seems to spread by popular mandate. Telco marketers and advertising execs, read it and weep, here are the monthly rankings:
Top 10 UK Telecom Sites by Monthly Visits - April '05
1. BT – 22.14%
2. O2.co.uk – 12.25%
3. Skype – 9.49%
4. Orange UK – 5.17%
5. Vodafone UK – 3.97%
6. Boltblue – 2.88%
7. T-Mobile UK – 2.59%
8. Carphone Warehouse – 2.48%
9. Dial-a-Phone Mobile Phones – 1.61%
10. CardBoardFish’s CBFSMS – 1.59%
Source: Hitwise UK