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Showing posts from March, 2005

Next Wave Disruption: Network DVRs

"A report issued last week by Magna Global predicts that if network DVRs become a reality, DVR usage could skyrocket. Unlike set-top DVRs, which are already offered by several cable operators, a network DVR records virtually all programming on a central server in the cable system�s headend . Theoretically, anybody who subscribes to digital cable could record whatever they wanted, without having to schedule an appointment with the cable guy or install a TiVo box."

MGM vs. Grokster: Legacy Media's Swan Song?

Doers and doings in business, entertainment and technology -- "A platform agnostic takes on the orthodoxy. In 1798, the era of President Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts and the hand-wrought printing press, the issues were already complex even if the technology was simpler. But as India ink and telegraph engendered digital media and the Internet, debates over what the First Amendment does and doesn't protect have grown ever more byzantine. Enter a freedom-of-information advocate who knows the postmodern territory well: Mark Cuban. The outspoken tycoon has agreed to underwrite the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in a legal defense against MGM. The legendary movie studio will stand before the U.S. Supreme Court with Grokster, an online file-sharing service."

iPod vs. the Mobile Phone

With the playing power of phones increasing rapidly, can MP3 players survive? -- "Apple's iPod is the must-have gadget of this decade. Over 10 million have been sold so far, dwarfing sales of other MP3 players. Apple claims over half the digital music player market. But this pales into insignificance when set against that other iconic consumer device, the mobile phone. Worldwide mobile handset sales amounted to 652 million units last year. The race is now on to make the mobile phone the portable media player of choice."

HD DVD and Blu-Ray Standards Both Win

"New digital delivery services are not likely to supplant the DVD business, but rather bring digital entertainment to people by adding either convenience or accessibility that complements what the "Packaged Goods" can provide, reports In-Stat. More consumers want instant access to video on their TV sets, portable devices and cell phone handsets, but DVDs will continue to be a popular medium and will continue to experience substantial growth. The worldwide value of all published DVD products is expected to grow with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 18.2%, from about $33 Billion during 2004, up to $76.5 Billion by 2009. By 2009, nearly 55% of all TV households will be connected to at least one of the non-traditional network delivery systems such as Cable TV, Satellite networks, Digital Terrestrial TV or Broadband TV service."

Decrease Internet Use in U.S. Homes

Americans are spending slightly less time online that they did a year ago, while some of their counterparts in Asia and Europe are logging longer hours on the Net -- "A study released by Nielsen/NetRatings looked at how much time, on average, people spend online at home. Average usage time for U.S. citizens dipped by 2 percent from a year ago, to 13 hours and 44 minutes a month, the study showed. Hong Kong, conversely, topped the list with its per-person average almost reaching 22 hours a month. The year-over-year growth for Hong Kong was 25 percent. The research firm said emerging Internet markets such as Australia, France, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan could be a better target for Internet companies."

FTTH: Why Fiber, Why Now?

According to In-Stat research, planned communities provide the ideal test beds for advanced broadband -- "The Greenfield residential market is the perfect arena for Fiber to the Home (FTTH). The dynamics in this market are such that it is often more affordable to deploy advanced broadband solutions, such as FTTH, and the pay-off is greater than in other types of neighborhoods. Because these neighborhoods are being built from the ground up, they represent a clean slate for new technologies, both in the community, as well as in the home. The research firm reports that in 2004, broadband service revenues from planned communities totaled $164 million, and that figure will rise to $815 million in 2009."

WiMAX and Cellular Convergence

Fixed Operators Will Lead WiMAX Adoption Says Pyramid Research -- WiMAX will revolutionize the fixed wireless broadband (FWB) market as expected, but it will be primarily a solution for fixed carriers argues Pyramid Research�s new report, �Positioning WiMAX: How WiMAX Stands Up To DSL, Cable, Wi-Fi and 3G.� A survey from the report revealed that industry players expect WiMAX to be deployed largely by fixed operators and ISPs to provide backhaul and high-speed internet access. Respondents are also optimistic about WiMAX�s future potential as a mobile solution. Pyramid forecasts total WiMAX subscribers to reach 10.9m by 2009 with the majority on 802.16d networks, but 802.16e subscribers will exhibit a 64% CAGR from 2009-2012."

Demystifying Triple Play

Analysis of Strategies, Potential, and Key Players -- "Telco enthusiasm for triple play is rapidly growing. Already numerous upstarts and incumbent telcos have moved into a sector that was once the preserve of cable companies; more plan to do so over the next few months. In this report, we analyze the key themes surrounding triple play and answer the core question: is the belief in triple play justified? Included is an assessment of triple play�s impact on revenues, margins, market share, ARPU and churn. We also provide details of how we expect the triple play sector to develop, and the companies that will shape the landscape. This report examines two operators in detail: FastWeb of Italy and NTL of the UK . Our analysis is also shaped by the examination of activities and plans of other companies, such as Auna of Spain and Free Telecom of France. We have drawn on the experiences of all these companies to address � in addition to the overarching questions relating to triple play �

VoWLAN and Convergence Technologies

New technologies allow mobile operators to stem the commoditization of the $500bn mobile voice market while capturing a share of fixed traffic -- "Fixed-mobile convergence and mobile VoIP will create substantial growth opportunities for mobile voice usage and revenues. Pyramid Research�s upcoming report, The Future of Mobile Voice , projects a $200bn opportunity for additional revenue through the migration of fixed-line traffic to mobile networks. This growth will not automatically go to mobile service providers as new IP technologies allow both mobile and fixed-line operators to compete for market share. To remain on top of mobile voice, mobile providers must rethink their approach to end-user services and networks."

Home Media Networking: A Reality in 2005?

Media Networking 2005: The Networked Living Room Becomes a Reality -- "With technical standards development and consumer education challenges for vendors still looming large but becoming less burdensome, media networking will continue to grow rapidly through 2009, reports an In-Stat analyst. Total media networking connections in homes will grow from over 50 million in 2005 to over 200 million in 2009, a 29% compound annual growth rate, the high-tech research firm says. Much of the growth will be driven by PC vendors, who are rolling out Media Center PCs that fit the living room in terms of style and function."

U.S. IT Policy: What's Next on the Agenda?

Ironically, according to a study by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) entitled Race to the Horizon -- "U.S. leadership in high technology faces challenges domestically and abroad. This pressure comes from global competitors who share America�s appreciation for the economic, political and social benefits of high tech; and from domestic legislators who would subject parts of the IT industry to burdensome regulation or discriminatory taxation. Foreign nations are willing and able to do what it takes to race ahead of today�s market incumbents and our own lawmakers seem to always rationalize the need for further control � despite the negative impacts this control would have on the industry. Over the next four years the next Administration, the Congress and the states will play a critical role in determining whether the U.S. retains its lead or, through lack of clear vision and halting public policy resolve, allows itself to slip into also ran status."

Top Tech Nation: Singapore Surpasses U.S.

IT Competitiveness -- "Singapore has displaced the United States as the top economy in information technology competitiveness, according to the World Economic Forum's latest annual Global Information Technology Report released today. The U.S. drops from first to fifth in the rankings, which measures the propensity for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by information and communications technology (ICT). Iceland, Finland and Denmark occupy positions two, three and four out of 104 countries surveyed, with Iceland achieving the most improvement among the top countries, moving up from tenth last year."

Managing Next-Generation IT Infrastructure

McKinsey suggests that the time is ripe for an industrial revolution, and details a Deutsche Telekom case study -- "The costly build-to-order approach of typical IT infrastructures may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to advances in technology and to new management practices. Leading companies are moving toward a less complex model characterized by standard and reusable products, transparent pricing, and better use of IT resources. Companies can make their information technology systems up to 30 percent more productive by adopting a standardized model. To undertake this shift, CIOs must rethink the organization, architecture, and procurement processes of their IT organizations."

NTT Invests in Fiber to Drive Broadband Revenue

Pyramid Research analysis, NTT Hits Light-Speed -- "NTT East, NTT West, and NTT Communications recently announced plans to spend an estimated JPY800bn (US$7.4bn) over the next five years to create the world's largest fiber optic network. Specifically, the NTT companies will upgrade 30m connections nationwide to fiber thereby allowing them to offer a wider array of value-added services on top of traditional voice. As Japan analyst Jane Buenaventura states, the justification for this expense is simple: survival in the increasingly competitive Japanese broadband market."

Entrepreneurship, Geography and Economic Growth

"Regional high school graduation rates have a major impact on economic growth, particularly entrepreneurship. To determine the relationship between education and growth, researchers incorporated recent theories of entrepreneurship and new enterprise creation into traditional economic models. The recently published Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy report, Using Census Business Information Tracking System (BITS) to Explore Entrepreneurship, Geography and Economic Growth, discusses findings. Researchers found a positive relationship between U.S. entrepreneurship and high school graduation across all industry sectors, except manufacturing."

2004 VoIP Market, the Upside and Downside

Enterprise IP Telephony Puts In a Strong Q4 2004 in Europe While the U.S. Market Takes a Dip -- "According to Synergy Research Group's latest reports, Q4 2004 Enterprise VoIP U.S. Market Shares and Q4 2004 Enterprise VoIP EMEA Market Shares, the EMEA Enterprise IP Telephony market increased 28.1% sequentially and 88.8% year over year while its U.S. counterpart dipped 3.5% -- the first decrease ever measured for U.S. Enterprise IP Telephony. As an interesting counterpoint, the U.S. market saw 8 vendors post negative sequential growth compared to all vendors in EMEA experiencing positive growth and in many instances that growth being strong double digit. Alcatel, Avaya, and 3Com posted the strongest EMEA growth of 51, 42, and 33 percent."

Misuse of Competitive Intelligence (CI)

Results from Survey of U.S. Corporations -- "A majority of U.S.-based companies that claim to use competitive intelligence (CI) to guide their decision-making processes either don�t use intelligence enough or use it the wrong way. This excludes nearly 30 percent of companies that don�t even have, or don�t feel the need for, a CI system, despite today�s ultra-competitive environment. These are two of the key findings in Ostriches & Eagles , a survey conducted by business intelligence consultants Outward Insights LLC on the effectiveness and use of CI across a number of industries."

BusinessWeek: Web Services Explained

So, What the Heck Are Web Services? -- "Good question, and it raises lots of others. Here are some straight answers about this critical new movement in computing. Lots of people would say a new software technology called Web services really caught techdom's attention with a 1999 press conference held in downtown San Francisco by software giant Microsoft. Chairman Bill Gates introduced to the world a concept he called BizTalk, which was formalized five years ago under the name .Net. The new technology, which would eventually be followed by a suite of server software for businesses, was Microsoft's entr�e into the growing business of using the Internet to connect different types of software together, regardless of who wrote the programs."

Findings from the 2004 Digital Cities Survey

New Report Outlines Major Findings -- "Service-oriented, business-driven and cost-effective emerged as the key characteristics of city governments that participated in the 2004 Digital Cities Survey, according to a new report issued by the Center for Digital Government and National League of Cities (NLC). The report documents the results, major findings, and trends from last year�s survey, which evaluated city governments� use of information technology to better serve their citizens and streamline operations. The survey evaluation was based on 24 scored questions and 56 data points in all. Results of the survey provide new evidence that advancements have been made in the campaign for digital government, said Paul W. Taylor, Ph.D., chief strategy officer at the Center."

Why Our Broadband Policy's Still a Mess

"Broadband is booming, DSL prices are dropping and cable modem speeds are increasing without additional charge. But to Michael Copps, one of two Democrats on the five-member Federal Communications Commission, that's not enough. As a policy-maker, Copps is outraged that the United States isn't near the top of countries with broadband penetration. While admitting the difficulty in comparing the United States with Japan, Korea or Norway, Copps also voices the growing restlessness of government officials who fret about the private sector's ability to ensure that all Americans get access to broadband."

IPTV Builds Momentum in Several Markets

"Delivering video content over broadband networks is now a part of many operators� plans. But this service is a high-cost, low-margin business. A wide range of factors will determine the success or failiure of the different services. But a competitively priced bundle of services will be the most important factor in holding on to customers in the face of cable competition. Analysis from Point Topic on prices for double or triple play bundles shows how monthly tariffs vary between operators around the world."