Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, May 29, 2015

Most Mobile Data Traffic will Migrate to Wi-Fi Networks

Across the globe, mobile data traffic continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, driven primarily by online video usage. The increased number of mobile subscriptions, new smartphone users and the multitude of available software apps have resulted in an explosion in data usage.

Worldwide mobile data traffic, generated by all smartphones, feature phones and media tablets, will approach almost 197,000 PB (Petabytes) by 2019 -- that's the equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies, according to the latest market study by Juniper Research.

However, their research found that only 41 percent of the data generated by these devices will be carried over conventional cellular wireless networks by 2019, with the majority of mobile data traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.

The latest Juniper market analyst estimates that the average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users will double over the next four years.

The daily digital media consumption by mobile users will continue to rise, driven primarily by the rise in 4G LTE adoption and factors such as high-definition video usage.


"Certainly, video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic. For example, we anticipate that video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014 and 2019," said Nitin Bhas, head of research at Juniper Research.

Video currently accounts for around 60 percent of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70 percent in 2-3 years.

In 2014, data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets in the Far East & China exceeded that of North America for the first time.

Additionally, the Juniper market assessment uncovered that Wi-Fi has now become an integral part of most mobile network operator's business strategy.

Wi-Fi is being used for data offload and also to maintain call connection quality in challenging network topologies. For example, EE UK launched its Wi-Fi calling feature on a selected number of handsets in April 2015.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • On-loaded M2M traffic will significantly increase over the forecast period, primarily driven by telematics and connected car infotainment systems.
  • North America and Western Europe will have the highest offload factor throughout the forecast period.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Smartphone Market in China is Reaching Saturation

Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to grow by 11.3 percent in 2015, which is down from 27.6 percent in 2014, according to the latest global market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

While overall smartphone growth will continue to slow as mature markets reach saturation, some markets will experience robust growth in 2015 and beyond. As a result, worldwide shipment volumes are forecast to reach 1.9 billion units annually by 2019.

IDC now expects 2015 to bring two notable milestones. First, they predict that this will be the first year in which China's smartphone growth, forecast to be 2.5 percent in 2015, will be slower than the overall worldwide market.

Second, Google Android smartphone growth is also expected to be slower than the worldwide market -- now forecast at 8.5 percent in 2015. IDC believes both trends will persist throughout the forecast period, which now goes out to 2019.

"Smartphone volume still has a lot of opportunity in the years to come, but two fundamental segments driving recent years' growth are starting to slow," said Ryan Reith, program director at IDC.


As reported earlier in May, smartphone shipments in China declined year-over-year in the first quarter of 2015, showing that the largest market in the world has reached a level of maturity where further growth will be harder to achieve.

IDC believes that this has implications for Google because China has been a critical market for Android-based smartphone shipments in recent years -- accounting for 36 percent of total volume in 2014.

That said, as Chinese OEMs shift their focus from the domestic market to the next high-growth markets, they will face a number of challenges, including competition from local brands.

In contrast to the overall market, IDC now expects Apple iOS smartphones to grow by 23 percent in 2015 and remain above worldwide market growth rates throughout the forecast period to 2019.

However, IDC believes a sizable portion of the recent Google Android gains were from those people who abandoned their old iPhone models for a more affordable larger screen Android smartphone. This may be a win-back opportunity for Apple. But the relatively high-price of new iPhones will remain a significant hurdle for Apple to overcome.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Threats Drive Demand for Managed Security Services

The global managed security services (MSS) market will grow rapidly with the ongoing move towards cloud computing, the adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), and as new cyber security laws require IT organizations to improve their security posture.

Sophisticated threats, such as targeted attacks, advanced persistent attacks, and larger distributed denial of service attacks are pushing enterprises to adopt a more mature approach to IT security, thereby increasing the market opportunity for MSS providers.

According to the latest worldwide market study by Frost & Sullivan, the MSS market earned revenues of $7.83 billion in 2014 and is forecast to reach $12.78 billion in 2018.

The market in  Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will remain the largest. Moreover, security asset management and monitoring (SAMM) services will represent the prime market segment.

The adoption of cloud-based SAMM will gather pace as the need for real-time security intelligence and protection, big data analytics and advanced targeted threat protection heightens.

"The enforcement of the new EU Data Protection legislation in 2016 and in particular increased awareness of the threat of targeted attacks will prompt firms in EMEA to turn to MSS providers," said Beatriz Valle, senior analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

In North America too, F&S believes that stringent regulations and increasing governance complexity will spur MSS adoption, particularly in the healthcare, banking and retail sectors.

Although the returns on an MSS investment become evident after a targeted attack has taken place, savvy CIOs realize that the potential revenue losses and reputation damages an attack can cause are reason enough for preemptive action.

However, some IT leaders still underestimate the risk and do not perceive their enterprise as a likely target of cyber attacks -- they're oblivious to the scale of the problem and fail to protect their commercial assets from these known threats.

"Educating customers is a crucial part of the job for vendors," explained Valle. "MSS providers must also progress from merely generating security alerts to proactively staving off or resolving security breaches in order to keep up with the fast-evolving threat landscape."

Furthermore, according to the F&S assessment, providers must ensure that they fully understand client requirements and establish a sound provider-customer relationship to strengthen their competitive advantage in the global MSS market.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Growing IoT Role in Connected Home Security Services

Home automation is reaching an inflection point. Service providers -- including telcos and cable operators -- are introducing a range of offerings to this market. The intersection of home automation services with wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technologies, big data analytics, and health management services creates new opportunity.

A growing roster of smart home services and device providers are using home security monitoring as a beachhead to introduce home automation services, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.

In the key U.S. market, considered by industry analysts to be a bellwether for developed markets around the world, around 15 million more U.S. homes will invest in new connected home security services in the next 5 years.

"After decades where penetration into U.S. households stalled, home security adoption is set for significant growth," said Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research.

However, it will not be the sole preserve of traditional professionally monitored home security providers. Consumers can now choose from an array of non-traditional suppliers, new technologies, and innovative services that balance value with cost.

Through managed smart home offerings from retailers such as Lowes and Staples as well as standalone devices such as video cameras from Dropcam, or smart locks from Kwikset, consumers increasingly have the option to install and monitor their own security systems.

Demand for such smart home systems will outpace those for traditional professional monitored security subscriptions as, among other attractions, they ditch the installation fees, monthly payments and long service contracts of the traditional offerings.

At the same time, professionally monitored security service providers such as Frontpoint Security and NextAlarm offer solutions where users self-install their devices, or can integrate existing dormant installations into new IP based services.

ABI believes that self-install and self-monitor home security solutions are real threats to the traditional business models offered by mainstream home security vendors.

While matching these solutions is one option, traditional vendors need to look for ways to better integrate their core services with partner smart home services. These services can range from call-center monitoring as a plug-in service to bringing home video monitoring into the call center.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Global OTT Video Subscribers will Reach 332.2 Million

The growing popularity of watching online entertainment has meant that viewing video via the public internet has become a much more widespread activity in many people's lives, particularly the younger demographic that demonstrates little interest in the traditional pay-TV experience.

Worldwide subscribers to all over-the-top (OTT) video entertainment services -- such as Netflix and Amazon Prime -- will increase from 92.1 million in 2014 to 332.2 million by 2019, according the the latest market study by Juniper Research.

Continued growth within the North American market will see it remain as the leading region, in terms of total subscribers, but closely followed by the Far East, as this region emerges with new services and rapidly growing consumer interest.

In its latest global market assessment, Juniper found that consumers will still favor Connected TVs as their primary screen -- especially for watching long-form video delivered via OTT subscription services.

Their research observed that given the long life-cycle of TV ownership, previously 'dumb' TVs will see an upsurge in becoming 'connected' -- due to the availability of low-cost devices such as Google Chromecast and the Amazon Fire TV Stick.


Juniper also forecasts the continued high uptake of video games consoles and streaming video set-top boxes (such as Roku) which provide pre-loaded services via apps. This alternative device adoption is in contrast to the typical Smart TV, which currently offers a less-intuitive user interface.

Besides, traditional pay-TV service providers cannot afford to ignore the popular demand for the growing number of streaming video entertainment subscription and video-on-demand service offerings.

For example, Juniper believes that the growing threat from OTT video services has notably forced Verizon's hand into bundling less-expensive pay-TV packages, minus the expensive sports channels.

This has led to pay-TV incumbents arguing among themselves, as well as enraging the American sports TV networks, such as ESPN which is owned by Disney. Meanwhile, the progressive OTT providers continue to strengthen their market position with mainstream consumer groups.

Other key findings from the market study include:
  • Ad spend on Video on Demand is to grow almost fourfold by 2019, with the Far East and China dominating the market by the end of the forecast period.
  • IPTV subscriber numbers are forecast to grow by over 70 percent between 2014 and 2019.

Friday, May 22, 2015

China is Leading Digital Television Market Growth

Digital video entertainment continues to gain momentum around the globe, as more consumers embrace high-definition broadcast television services -- many will also choose to connect their TV sets to the internet and subscribe to over-the-top video streaming offerings.

Based on forecasts for 138 countries, the number of digital TV homes will increase by more than 1 billion between 2010 and 2020 to reach 1.65 billion -- that's up by 180 percent, according to the latest worldwide market study by Digital TV Research.

The total digital television households will climb by 134 million during 2015.

According to their assessment, global digital TV penetration will reach 97.6 percent of television households by the end of 2020 -- that's up from 40.5 percent at the end of 2010 and 67.2 percent at the end of 2014.

By 2020, 93 countries will be completely digital, compared with only 17 at end-2014. It's now forecast that about 124 countries will have more than 90 percent digital TV penetration by 2020.


Some emerging regions continue to grow faster than the saturated mature markets. The number of digital TV households in Asia-Pacific will increased by 400 million between 2014 and 2020, with 93 million to be added in 2015 alone.

The Asia-Pacific region will supply two-thirds of the 608 million digital TV household additions between 2014 and 2020. Sub-Saharan Africa will more than double its base over the same period, with Latin America nearly doubling its total.

That said, China will boast an amazing 454 million digital TV homes by the end of 2020 -- that's 27 percent of the global total -- up by 169 million when compared with 2014 penetration.

Moreover, India will overtake the U.S. market to reach second place in 2015. Advancing rapidly, India will add 95 million digital TV homes between 2014 and 2020 to double its total.

Brazil will take fourth place and Russia fifth place by 2020. Meanwhile, another nation that's gaining share rapidly is Indonesia, which will leap to sixth place (from 23rd in 2014), by adding 43 million digital TV households.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Cloud Infrastructure is Viewed as a Commodity

The CIO at a typical large enterprise has a difficult task today. They're expected to perform procurement due diligence, in a professional and comprehensive manner, before selecting a cloud computing service(s) for their organization's many workload requirements.

More often than not, they look to one of the leading IT industry analysts for guidance. From a CIOs perspective, the industry analysts that they subscribe to (i.e. pay them an annual fee for their analysis) are expected to provide market clarity and a candid assessment of the various players.

Honest and informed analyst guidance is particularly important when most of the primary vendors and service providers tend to deliver the same basic offerings, or make very similar claims about their company's cloud-related capabilities.

Moreover, viewed through the lens of the collective IT technology trade media, a CIO can be excused for thinking that the current cloud infrastructure marketplace appears to be an undifferentiated blur. It looks like a commodity, that's likely to be a foundation for their CEO's strategic digital business transformation goals.

Assessing the Cloud IaaS Landscape

The market for cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is in a state of upheaval, as many service providers are shifting their strategies after failing to gain enough market traction, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner.

Global spending on IaaS is expected to reach almost $16.5 billion in 2015 -- that's an increase of 32.8 percent from 2014, with a CAGR from 2014 to 2019 forecast at 29.1 percent, according to the current Gartner forecast.

"The IaaS solution ecosystem is rapidly consolidating around a small number of market leaders," said Lydia Leong, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The sky is not falling, customers are getting great value out of cloud IaaS, but the competitive landscape is shifting."

According to the Gartner assessment, 2014 was a year of reckoning for cloud IaaS providers. Why? Many believe that their current strategy is failing them. But what does failure look like, from an industry analyst's perspective? Apparently, it's when a disenchanted cloud provider decides to change directions or abruptly exit the market.

"We urge buyers to be extremely cautious when selecting providers -- ask specific and detailed questions about the provider's roadmap for the service, and seek contractual commitments that do not permit the provider to modify substantially or to discontinue the offering without at least 12 months' notice," said Ms. Leong.

Should a CIO Believe in Magic (Quadrants)?

Gartner says that cloud IaaS market share has continued to become more heavily concentrated, even while the global marketplace for these services has grown dramatically.

Although 15 providers are featured in the Gartner "Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service" the market is dominated by only a few -- Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine. Between them, these three providers comprise the majority of workloads running in public cloud IaaS in 2015.

In 2014, the absolute growth of public cloud IaaS workloads surpassed the growth of on-premises workloads (of any type) for the first time. Gartner's 2015 CIO survey indicates that 83 percent of CIOs consider cloud IaaS as an infrastructure option, and 10 percent are already cloud-first with cloud IaaS as their default infrastructure choice.

"Cloud IaaS can now be used to run most workloads, although not every provider can run every type of workload well," said Ms. Leong. "Cloud IaaS is not a commodity. Providers vary significantly in their features, performance, cost and business terms."

Ms. Leong concludes, "Although in theory, cloud IaaS has very little lock-in, in truth, cloud IaaS is not merely a matter of hardware rental, but an entire data center ecosystem as a service. The more you use its management capabilities, the more value you will receive from the offering, but the more you will be tied to that particular service offering."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

China is the New Wireless Broadband Market Leader

While it has been a common practice for telecom industry analysts to assess the economic vitality of a nation by ranking their relative investment in fiber optic broadband communication infrastructure, in future the comparison of wireless broadband capabilities will be the key measure of supremacy.

By the end of 2014, China had gained almost 100 million 4G LTE mobile service subscriptions in the first year of full commercialization -- further demonstrating the nation's unprecedented growth momentum, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

Harnessing their first-mover advantage, China Mobile seized almost 90 percent share of the total 4G LTE market in China. Their accelerated investment in telecom infrastructure is a testament to the emerging Chinese leadership within the Global Networked Economy.

"Since the other two China mobile operators -- China Unicom and China Telecom -- were granted preferred FDD-LTE licenses in March 2015, it is expected that China will overtake the United States to become the largest 4G market in the world, accumulating 500 million LTE subscriptions, or 36.5 percent of the domestic cellular subscriptions in 2015," said Marina Lu, research analyst at ABI Research.

In 4Q 2014, global 4G LTE subscriptions increased by 149.1 million, which, for the first time, surpassed 3G subscriptions growth by 10.9 percent.

According to the ABI assessment, 4G LTE subscriptions will continue to cannibalize the 3G subscriber base, growing at a CAGR of 21 percent between 2015 and 2020, to reach 3.5 billion.

The Asia-Pacific region already leads the global 4G LTE subscriptions with 48.6 percent share, followed by North America and Western Europe. Global 2G subscriptions will continue to fall through 2020 and stand at 1.69 billion.

Due to several consolidation activities in the mobile industry, Western Europe saw some temporary fluctuations to the total number of mobile subscriptions.

In 4Q 2014, Telefnica Germany excluded 428,000 mobile accesses from its mobile subscriptions due to the adjustment in the former E-Plus customer base. This led to an overall drop in total subscriptions even though enhanced LTE coverage and availability of new devices helped Telefnica gain more subscriptions.

In the long-term, the consolidation will deliver synergies from network combination, overhead reduction, and retail shop rationalization. Through strengthening the competitive position and local scale, it might attract more customers.

One more acquisition is expected in the United Kingdom: Hutchison purchasing O2; making 3UK the largest mobile operator. Currently, Everything Everywhere (yes, that's the name of a service provider) is the largest mobile operator, with aggressive 4G LTE subscriptions of 7.6 million in 2014.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Global Data Breach Costs will Reach $2.1 Trillion by 2019

As more business communication infrastructure moves online, it eventually becomes the target of someone that will attempt to negatively impact that enterprise. Computer crime is a growing threat to corporations and individuals who are increasingly dependent upon the Global Networked Economy.

Mobile devices with internet access amplifies that commercial dependency, and the greater potential for harm.

The growth of at-risk online commercial database access via the public internet will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019 -- that's almost four times the estimated cost of these IT security breaches in 2015, according to the latest market study by Juniper Research.

That being said, their latest findings indicate that the majority of these new security breaches will likely come from criminal access to existing IT data centers and associated network infrastructure.

While new threats targeting mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being reported, the number of virus infected devices is minimal in comparison to more traditional computing devices.

The study also highlights the increasing sophistication of cyber crime, with the emergence of cyber crime products -- such as the availability of malware creation software for purchase -- over the past year, as well as the reported decline in casual activist hacks.


Hacktivism has become more successful and less prolific, according to the Juniper assessment. In future, they expect fewer attacks overall, but more successful ones.

"Currently, we aren't seeing much dangerous mobile or IoT malware because it's not profitable," said James Moar, research analyst at Juniper Research.

He believes the kind of cyber threats we'll see will continue to be people locked-out of their device until they pay the hacker ransom to regain access, or where the device is hijacked as part of a hacker botnet.

At this time, with the absence of a direct payout from IoT security breaches, there apparently is little motive for online criminals to develop the required hacking tools. Of course, that situation could change over time.

Other key findings from the market study include:

  • Nearly 60 percent of anticipated data breaches worldwide in 2015 will occur in North America, but this proportion will decrease over time as other countries become both richer and more vulnerable.
  • The average cost of a data breach in 2020 will exceed $150 million by 2020, as more business infrastructure gets connected to the public internet.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Industrial Internet of Things will Reach 43.5M Devices

As more machine-to-machine (M2M) applications are being created, Internet connectivity will become essential to numerous heavy industries around the globe. The installed base of wireless Internet of Things (IoT) devices in industrial automation reached 10.3 million in 2014, according to the latest worldwide market study by Berg Insight.

The number of wireless IoT devices in automation networks is now forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.2 percent to reach 43.5 million by 2020.

There is a wide range of wireless technologies used in industrial automation with different characteristics and use cases. As an example, 802.15.4 based standards such as WirelessHART and ISA100.11a are major contenders at the field level in process automation networks.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the most widespread technologies in factory automation while cellular connectivity typically is used for remote monitoring and backhaul communication between plants.

The increasing popularity of Ethernet based networks in factory automation is one of the key drivers for the popularity of Wi-Fi in such applications. Increased usage of standard devices such as tablets and smartphones in for example mobile HMI solutions is also an important driver for the adoption of Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth in automation equipment.

"Companies are now deepening the integration between industrial automation systems and enterprise applications and the promise of IoT is getting more tangible by the day," said Johan Svanberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight.

Industrial Internet of Things Marketplace

The wireless IoT device market is served by a multitude of players from various backgrounds including global automation solution providers, automation equipment and solution vendors, industrial communication specialists and IoT communication specialists.

Emerson, Honeywell, GE and Yokogawa are leading vendors of 802.15.4 devices in industrial automation. Siemens, Cisco, Belden, Moxa, Schneider Electric and Eaton are major vendors of Wi-Fi devices while Eaton, GE and Sierra Wireless are important vendors of cellular devices for industrial automation applications.

Large multinational corporations are beginning to systematically develop and adopt best practices to maximize the benefits of IoT technology in every part of their organisations.

IT/OT convergence, smart factories, Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things are all concepts which are part of the ongoing evolution of industrial automation.

According to Berg's assessment, innovation in sensor technology, wireless connectivity, energy harvesting, 3D printing, big data and cloud solutions -- along with seamless exchange of information between devices, systems and people -- paves the way for improved performance, flexibility and responsiveness throughout the enterprise value chain.