Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, December 09, 2016

Global Mobile Service Provider Data Migration Strategies

Offloading to Wi-Fi can help to transfer cellular mobile traffic by using complementary network technologies for the delivery of data. It enables mobile network operators to reduce the congestion in the cellular networks, while for the end-user it provides cost savings on data services and higher bandwidth availability.

It's now forecast that annual cellular data traffic -- generated by smartphones, media tablets, connected cars, and other M2M modules -- will reach 129,000 Petabytes (PB) by 2018 -- that's equivalent to approximately 14 billion hours of 4K ultra high-definition video streaming.

Mobile Data Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, as 4K video content becomes more widely available, the average data usage will increase leading to almost threefold rise in cellular network traffic to exceed 318,000 PB by 2021.

This will put a significant pressure on mobile network providers who will see greater usage. Meanwhile, the monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) continues to decline, due to increased competition.


Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Highlights
  • Global average smartphone cellular data usage will reach 5GB per month by 2021, that's up from 2GB in 2017.
  • Global average tablet cellular data usage will exceed 3.3GB per month by 2021, up from 1.5GB in 2017.
  • Video will account for 60 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2017, before approaching 80 percent by 2021.
  • Traffic generated by cellular connected M2M systems will approach 6,000PB by 2021, dominated by the automotive sector.
  • Cellular-connected fixed devices including notebooks and eReaders will generate 20 percent of total traffic to the mobile networks in 2017.
  • Data traffic generated by smartphone, media tablets and feature phones will grow fourfold between 2017 and 2021 to reach 774,000PB; that's equivalent to 81 billion hours of 4K streaming.

Demand for Wi-Fi Offload Continues

The use of Wi-Fi technology by mobile operators for data offload has boosted the build-out of Wi-Fi hotspots in recent years. Juniper predicts that this will lead to over 60 percent of global mobile data traffic being offloaded via Wi-Fi networks in 2017.

However, the research findings also warned that a high QoE (quality of experience) while offloading data users will be essential for future network monetization strategies.

"Operators need to support a user-experience comparable to that of cellular. While progress has been made in refining hand-offs between cellular and Wi-Fi, there is still room for improvement by implementing better network management and planning tools, said Nitin Bhas, head of research at Juniper Research.

Monday, December 05, 2016

IoT Supports Semi-Autonomous Vehicle System Apps

Growing safety concerns about driving and traffic accidents, plus the recognition by national governments of the apparent advantages of driverless vehicles, will accelerate the deployment of new services that are assisted by the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure.

ABI Research anticipates that semi-autonomous systems will lead the market over the next decade, with SAE level 2 and 3 systems accounting for 86 percent of autonomous vehicles shipping in 2026. Higher levels of autonomy will gain traction quickly, representing just under one-third of autonomous vehicles shipping in 2030.

Autonomous Vehicle Market Development

"Driverless cars will transform the way mobility is consumed, bringing environmental, societal and convenience advantages to the end user," says James Hodgson, analyst at ABI Research. "It also represents a fundamental disruption to the business model that dominated the automotive market for almost one century."

ABI now believes that OEMs can prosper by pursuing semi-autonomous operation, maintaining the importance of the driving experience. However, recent announcements from BMW, Ford, Renault-Nissan, and Tesla signal that OEMs are looking to introduce higher levels of autonomy by 2021, and are also planning to transition to automated mobility providers.

Both Ford and Renault-Nissan launched smart mobility divisions to build on the existing trend of OEM or ride-share partnerships and investments. The divisions also provide a platform for these brands to research and implement autonomous and connected technologies.

Meanwhile, the recently announced Tesla Network details how the brand intends to facilitate peer-to-peer autonomous car sharing, and how participation will impact consumer car ownership costs.

The decision by Tesla to withdraw the level 2 Autopilot system in favor of Enhanced Autopilot, and eventually deep learning-based autonomous functionality, will be the most concrete example of the shift in industry attitudes toward low level semi-autonomous driving.

Outlook for New Technology Adoption

"The spread of low-speed Traffic Jam Assist systems to more of the mass market, in tandem with the increasing combination of longitudinal and lateral assistance on highways, will see semi-autonomous vehicles retaining their dominant market share for some years," concludes Hodgson.

The quasi-universal 2021 target date for the rollout of more highly automated system nonetheless represents a significant acceleration in the autonomous technology market.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Global PC Market Decline will Continue into 2017

Personal computer (PC) vendors will remember 2016 as yet another year where their hopes for a market growth recovery failed to materialize. Worldwide PC shipments are forecast to decline by 6.4 percent in 2016, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Ironically, this is considered an improvement over an earlier projection for a decline of 7.2 percent in 2016. While the current IDC outlook (subject to change) for 2017 is at -2.1 percent year-over-year decline, the absolute volumes are likely to be slightly higher based on stronger 2016 shipments.

PC Market Development Trends

The third quarter of 2016 (3Q16) saw a year-over-year decline in shipments of 4.6 percent, more than 2 percentage points ahead of expectations. The 3Q16 market gains were due in part to momentum in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, and are driven by channel build up in anticipation of component shortages.

This inventory accumulation is expected to slightly boost PC shipments into early 2017, but will not carry into later periods. According to the IDC assessment, beyond 2016, the PC shipment outlook has been raised slightly, and continues to trend toward stabilization with modest commercial growth starting in 2018.

Commercial notebook shipments were expected to grow during 2016 and throughout the forecast, with a peak at 3.7 percent in 2019. Commercial desktop growth is expected to be effectively flat by 2018, while consumer notebook and desktop shipments are expected to decline slightly throughout the forecast.


Competition from media tablets and smartphones continues to ease as those markets mature. Nevertheless, overlap in usage and converging designs is accelerating the shift in notebooks to ultra-slim and convertible designs, which are now expected to account for almost 63 percent of notebook PC shipments by 2020.

Combining detachable tablets with PCs, the market is projected to decline by 3.2 percent in 2016 with small positive growth in later years. Like most industry analysts, IDC truly wants to see the possibility of an upside.

"The PC market continues to perform close to expectations," said Loren Loverde, vice president at IDC. "Some volatility in emerging regions is being offset by incremental gains in larger mature markets while the interaction with tablets and phones is stabilizing."

Outlook for Personal Computing Demand

Despite continued weakness in the consumer segment, the U.S. PC market is showing some signs of stability in the near future with some sources of optimism for the long haul.

Backed by early Windows 10 transitions that could potentially boost commercial PC shipments in the next couple of years, and steady growth of PCaaS (PC as a Service) which should help shorten refresh cycles of commercial systems in the long-term, the overall U.S. PC market sentiment seems to be improving.

In the event that Microsoft Windows upgrades fail to lift the market, then there's always the possibility that Google Chromebook demand will once again step into the void that's being created by the ongoing malaise for traditional PC products.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Outlook for New Smartphone Tech Innovation in 2017

Worldwide smartphone shipments will reach 1.45 billion units, with a year-over-year growth rate of just 0.6 percent in 2016, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Although growth remains positive, it is down significantly from the 10.4 percent growth rate in 2015.

However, 4G smartphones will reach 21.3 percent year-over-year growth globally for 2016, at 1.17 billion units -- that's up from 967 million in 2015. Once again, emerging markets are driving most growth, where only 61 percent of 2015 smartphone shipments were 4G-enabled, compared to the 77 percent in 2016.

That being said, mature markets  -- such as USA, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe -- are further along the 4G adoption curve with 85 percent in 2015 and a projected 94 percent in 2016, respectively.

Smartphone Market Development Trends

"It's been a long slog for 4G uptake in many emerging markets as 4G data tariffs have been very expensive compared to 3G, while 4G handsets themselves have also been relatively pricey across the board," said Melissa Chau, associate research director at IDC.

As we look at the current holiday season, smartphone vendor marketing has picked up significantly across almost all regions, as expected. Meanwhile, mobile network service providers continue to promote faster internet access and other more advanced capabilities.

In North America and Western Europe, Google has put a significant amount of promotion behind the new Pixel and Pixel XL, although early supply chain indications are that volumes are not at the point where Samsung or Apple should see a significant impact for Q4.

Of course, as we head into 2017 this can change, but many eyes will be on Google. Will they introduce new integrated 'Google Now' features that give them a competitive edge? We'll have to wait and see.

Why is Google's role so important to the future of smartphone market development? It's because they influence the leading platform, and independent software app developers care about forward-looking market share. Today, the upside is all about Android.

Why Smartphone Prices will Continue to Decline

According to the IDC assessment, Google Android has been and will remain the majority share operating system platform in smartphones for the foreseeable future. It will also be at the core of the aforementioned 4G growth expected in emerging markets -- as low-cost Android vendors are not using newer, faster low-cost chips. Moreover, there's been no indication that the Apple iOS will regain lost market share.

The biggest focus point in regard to Android is Google's recent entry into the hardware space. IDC believes that it's too early to tell if this will negatively impact relations with other hardware partner OEMs, but it is a move similar to Microsoft's entry into the hardware space with Surface. Initially, it doesn't seem to be disruptive. However, the Google move is also aided by the lack of viable mobile platform alternatives.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How Biometric Technology will Transform Mobile Security

Smartphone data security is growing in importance as more people are storing and accessing personal, business and financial data on their devices. Alphanumeric passwords are the common method of authentication, but can be difficult to enter accurately while on the move.

Furthermore, the small screen size on smartphones -- relative to that of a desktop or notebook computer -- means that password input is more difficult, while an accidental keystroke can increase the user frustration.

That said, biometric authentication is able to move beyond fingerprint scans and include a range of identifiers, from facial recognition to voiceprints, according to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research.

Biometric Technology Market Development

These methods will become part of many more consumer lives, installed on an estimated 190 million mobile devices  in 2016 -- including smartphones and wearables -- before exceeding 600 million devices by 2021.

The new research found that demand from businesses for methods that rely less on hardware will raise the profile of newer biometrics over the next 5 years -- in particular, voiceprints and facial recognition technologies.

These advanced technologies are easier to deploy than fingerprinting, as they do not require dedicated hardware. They introduce biometric security to a whole new audience in markets with lower-tier smartphones.


With many different biometric technologies now emerging for consumer use, Juniper predicts that multiple biometric apps will become part of consumer mobile experience in the near future.

The market study also found that use cases for biometrics will shift from identification to verification, thanks to the need for increased security of the biometric itself.

In these cases the biometric is stored and approved on-device and an affirmation sent to a service, rather than the biometric being transmitted and compared to a remotely held record.

This is because biometrics cannot be changed like passwords, and so if they are compromised, they are unusable for life.

Outlook for Biometric Technology Adoption

"While biometrics offer an increased amount of security and convenience, they need higher levels of protection," said James Moar, senior analyst at Juniper Research.

According to the Juniper assessment, establishing best practices for storage and transmission of newer biometrics will be key to ensuring both user control over and the security of the most personal stored data.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Global Mobile Workforce will Reach 1.87 Billion People

Smartphones and media tablets are proven business technology tools within most work situations today. Mobile enterprise communication continues to grow across the globe, as more organizations make mobility software apps an essential component of their digital transformation agenda.

The global mobile workforce is forecast to increase from 1.45 billion in 2016 -- accounting for 38.8 percent of the overall workforce -- to 1.87 billion in 2022, thereby accounting for 42.5 percent of the workforce.

Mobile Internet Market Development Trends

Globalization and continued advancements in mobile internet technology and applications will increase levels of mobility among executives, consultants, sales professionals, and many other professions, according to the latest worldwide market study by Strategy Analytics.

"In overall terms, the traditional workforce in the United States and Canada have been aging, along with the world's population in general," said Gina Luk, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics. The younger employees that replace them in North American organizations will crave modern IT infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the workforce in the most economically developed parts of Europe are also aging and shrinking, and yet the workforce in most of Asia-Pacific (except Japan and South Korea), the Middle East, and Latin America are growing rapidly and getting younger. That being said, the growth of the mobile worker population in much of the African continent is also advancing.

"If we compare regional data, North America and Western Europe are still the leading regions in terms of mobile worker penetration," added Andrew Brown, executive director at Strategy Analytics. But other key regions of the world are advancing rapidly and may catch up sooner, rather than later.

Outlook for Ongoing Mobile App Adoption

The mobile workers in these developed regions adopt and use far more mobile technologies -- e.g. notebook PCs, smartphones, tablets, mobile device security, enterprise mobility management, business mobile applications, IoT, big data analytics, mobile cloud and virtual reality -- than any of the other regions.

According to the Strategy Analytic assessment, more businesses are actively taking advantage of the potential for telecommuting, and offering employees flexible working environments. This pervasive trend will continue into the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fintech Revenue to Reach $70B in Asia-Pacific Region

According to the latest market study by Frost & Sullivan, the financial services industry is on the brink of disruption as widening technology use challenges existing products, services and fee structures.

Stakeholders across the traditional global banking, insurance, funding, lending, payments, business and retail finance segments are reviewing processes to align with their digital transformation agenda.

For instance, progressive customers and younger investors are more reliant on digital channels. Similarly, automation is reducing human activity and decreasing costs, creating lower fee structures across the board.

The ongoing evolution of financial services will focus on empowering customers to choose and customize the services they receive or the products they purchase. Market trends to emerge by 2025 include:

  • Pervasive use of convenient biometric authentication.
  • Cloud-based, software-as-a-service infrastructure model.
  • Robot advisors that reduce processing fees for customers.
  • Blockchain technology to revolutionize transaction processing.
  • Big Data analytics driving new Insurtech products for customers.
  • Major investment in machine learning apps and predictive analytics.

Fintech Market Development in Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific landscape is witnessing unprecedented growth with Fintech solutions and services expected to gross more than $70 billion in revenue by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 72.5 percent.

Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sydney are financial services innovation hubs, due to their favorable government regulations, start-up ecosystem and the 18-34 demographic group driving local consumer demand.

The emergence of new business models is enabling vendors to innovate and invest in advanced technologies. Savvy vendors are rethinking strategies and aligning their business vision with bold goals, thereby clearly defining a compelling value proposition for the most informed customers.

"Asia-Pacific grew exponentially in 2015. There was a four-fold increase of investments in Fintech companies from 2014 to 2015, which shows growing investor confidence in the region. Forty-two percent of the investment deals were concentrated on digital payments," said Ajay Sunder, vice president at Frost & Sullivan.

According to the latest analysis from Frost & Sullivan, innovative service providers are addressing unmet needs, embracing new technologies and gaining a disruptive advantage by leveraging diverse market opportunities.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Vehicle-to-Everything Connectivity Infrastructure Trends

Self-driving or autonomous vehicle (AV) technology may improve road safety and reduce traffic accidents -- the vast majority of which are caused by human error -- as well as provide mobility for the elderly or disabled population around the globe.

ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are the core elements of AVs and their adoption in production automobiles is increasing rapidly, partly as a result of stringent safety specifications.

Autonomous Vehicle Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the annual production of self-driving cars will reach 14.5 million in 2025 -- that's up from only a few thousands in 2020 -- to give a global installed base of more than 22 million consumer vehicles by 2025.

The study found that the market adoption of AV technology is likely to accelerate over the next few years, propelled by new regulatory requirements, environmental pressures, and rapid technological developments.


The market analysts found that driverless vehicles will have a disruptive impact on transportation around the world, and will ultimately lead to millions of professional drivers being made redundant. Juniper predicts that city-based taxi services will be one of the early-adopters of driverless vehicles.

"The introduction of driverless cars will result in fundamental changes to the automotive world and society in general; and it is clear that the boundaries between private vehicle ownership, car sharing and rental fleets will increasingly become blurred," said Gareth Owen, associate analyst at Juniper Research.

However, the study findings also uncovered that following the first-ever fatality in an AV vehicle -- the 'Tesla S' accident reported in Florida -- the automotive industry must convince the public that their self-driving cars are proven to be safe.

Outlook for Automotive Technology Evolution

Juniper found that a number of major automotive OEMs -- including BMW, Toyota and GM -- are accelerating their AV development and testing program, and now have comprehensive plans to launch production vehicles.

As a result, Juniper analysts forecast that driverless vehicles will start to become widespread in the 2020-2025 time-frame -- although they will likely be confined to urban centers initially, due to the need for extensive Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) infrastructure.

The Internet of Things (IoT) communication connectivity technology that enables V2X will be a significant key component for the widespread advancement of autonomous vehicle development and deployment.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Subscription Video on Demand Trends in North America

Blame Netflix, but they're not alone. Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) services continue to disrupt the traditional video entertainment sector in major markets worldwide. In addition, North America has been a proving ground for innovative new offerings.

According to the findings from a recent study, North America will have 112 million SVOD subscribers -- that's for movie and TV services only; excluding sports -- by end-2016, which is up by 19 million when compared with 2015. Moreover, the SVOD total is forecast to climb to 138 million by 2021.

However, the North America study by Digital TV Research anticipates 117 million TV households in the market by 2021, so the SVOD total will represent 104 percent of all TV households in the region.

SVOD Market Development Trends

"It is important to stress that these SVOD figures are gross – some homes take more than one SVOD platform, especially in the U.S. market," said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

The average SVOD subscriber in the U.S. market will pay for about 1.5 services. From the 127 million U.S. total in 2021, the study predicts that 43 million will be 'secondary' SVOD subscriptions.

Or, put it another way, there will be 84 million primary SVOD users in the U.S. market by 2021 – which translates to about 71 percent of the TV households.

Another important point is that their forecasts include Amazon Video – some other forecasts do not. Moreover, Amazon Prime subscribers do not directly pay for Amazon Video.

According to the Digital TV Research assessment, 60 percent of Amazon Prime subscribers watch Amazon Video. For these homes, they have devoted half the Amazon Prime fee to Amazon Video.

North American SVOD Market Outlook

Applying this methodology, the number of U.S. Amazon Video subs will grow from 30 million in 2015 to 49 million by 2021. Amazon Video is expected to start in Canada in 2017. Amazon Video will have 51 million subscribers in North America by 2021, who will generate revenues of about $2.48 billion.

By way of comparison, Netflix is forecast to have 59 million paying SVOD subscribers in North America by 2021 -- that's up from 53 million at the end 2016. The U.S. market will provide 52 million of the 2021 total. Netflix’s North American SVOD revenues will increase from $5.35 billion in 2016 to $6.85 billion in 2021.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Evolving Telecom Network Infrastructure for IoT Apps

Wireless communication technology is a key component of most Internet of Things (IoT) projects. Choosing the best-fit solution can be challenging, due to the use of competing technologies. Mobile network service providers prefer open standards-based technology. So, that's a key market driver.

ABI Research forecasts that although proprietary Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWANs) using LoRa, RPMA, and SIGFOX dominate today, the imminent commercialization of cellular LPWANs using the LTE Cat-M1, NB-IoT, and EC-GSM-IoT technologies will quickly rival the proprietary footprint.

Cellular LPWANs promise wide support from a large ecosystem, interoperability among vendors and mobile network operators, and the ability for existing cellular networks to rapidly scale up through a straightforward software upgrade with no new spectrum or hardware required.

Market Development of IoT Infrastructure

Telecom service providers throughout North America, Western Europe, and the Asia Pacific regions will lead the deployment of LPWANs for IoT.

"The window of opportunity for proprietary LPWA schemes to gain market share before the cellular juggernaut hits is drastically narrowing," said Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research.

According to the ABI assessment, while LoRa, RPMA, and SIGFOX technologies account for almost three quarters of LPWANs today, there is significant traction in mobile network operator trials and planning for cellular LPWAN rollout.

Taking an 'LTE Cat-M1 first' approach, the U.S. region is on track to offer commercial networks as early as the forth quarter of 2016. Other regions will lead with an 'NB-IoT first' tactic, likely becoming available sometime in 2017.

Meanwhile, U.S. mobile network operators are adopting LTE Cat-M1 first since it's compliant with the widest array of IoT use cases, and these may demand higher data rates than NB-IoT can provide.

Network operators plan to subsequently update their networks to NB-IoT if required at a later date. In other regions, NB-IoT is preferred for its promise of lower cost end nodes and longer battery life.

Outlook for M2M Technology Deployements

Sunsets offer companies that rely on machine-to-machine (M2M) an opportunity to substitute licensed M2M technologies with proprietary LPWA technologies. To ensure continuity of their businesses, these companies may decide to use proprietary LPWANs immediately when faced with a network sunset and avoid the wait for commercial scale on cellular networks.

"World 2G and 3G cellular network connection sunsets are now accelerating, with double digit declines since 2015," concludes Marshall. "Although we can count on one hand the number of networks sunsetting in 2016, this number will multiply at least five times over by 2025."