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Showing posts from September, 2005

SBC Tests 40 Mbps to the Home

SBC Communications is getting 40 megabits per second into the home with 2,500-foot copper loops and 25 mbps at 4,000 feet in an early Project Lightspeed test in 40 homes in San Antonio, chief operating officer Randall Stephenson said during a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst conference last week. �The technology is performing well,� he said. �It�s getting better and better as we get into it. I sat in a home recently and went through channel changing, watching the U.S. Open. The product is good." SBC has yet to test HDTV -- current trials are in standard-definition, he said. SBC plans a full market trial by December, then a full product launch next May or June. �I rest very comfortable that we can get the bandwidth to the side of the house,� Stephenson added. �I rest comfortable that we can get the service up. The encryption is working." Stephenson said the slight delays in deployment have been based on integration and chip-set issues. �The new hardware chip set is the one t

Telecom Bust Still Hurting Margins

The overcapacity resulting from the collapse of the late �90s industry bubble continues to have severe effects on US margins, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. Prices have fallen 10 per cent annually in most vertical markets, with US consumers now paying just 3.6 percent above cost for more telecom services. Nevertheless, the US communications market is expected to grow to $422.5 billion by 2011, up from $387.4 billion last year. �By far the largest trend in the US communications services market is the ongoing wireless replacement of wireline services. Home phone service penetration rates have peaked, and with many consumers replacing their home wirelines with wireless phone services, wireline operators could lose as many as 100 million customers by 2010,� says industry analyst Daniel Longfield. Mobile operations in the US, still growing at 10 per cent per annum, remain a bright spot in an otherwise increasingly bleak landscape. Wireline continues to erode and t

U.S. BSPs Offer More Bandwidth

Ultrafast broadband services from phone and cable companies could speed up your downloads to 15 megabits per second or more -- A new generation of superfast broadband Internet access promises to do more than accelerate Web browsing and file downloads. Five to thirty times as fast as DSL, these new -- and surprisingly affordable --wide pipes can in some cases enable new video, voice, and data services. Spearheading the coming bandwidth bonanza are fiber-optic services from Verizon and SBC -- and hefty bandwidth increases from competing cable providers. For customers, these offerings can immediately speed up music, photo, video, and software downloads; they could eventually enable HD-quality video on demand, custom views of live events, and other bandwidth-intensive services. Steve Dektor is an early convert to Verizon's fiber-optic Fios service. The owner of Alliance Computer Services, a repair and maintenance business he operates out of his home in Keller, Texas, Dektor dumped hi

APAC WiMAX Adoption Forecast

Though WiMAX faces several key challenges in the Asia Pacific market, its subscriber base will grow from over 80,000 in 2005 to over 3.8 million by 2009, reports In-Stat. In 2009, Asia Pacific WiMAX subscribers will account for 45 percent of the world total. "Issues that may hamper the adoption of WiMAX networks in the region include spectrum regulation that varies significantly across countries and competition on mobility from other technologies," says Bryan Wang, an In-Stat Content Manager based in Asia. "Meanwhile, fixed wireless operators are not very enthusiastic about WiMAX after having been burned by last-mile promises in the past. Vendors need to recruit a few high-profile operators to build real-world success stories early on." In-Stat found the following: - South Korea is estimated to contribute over 40 percetn of the regional WiMAX equipment revenue in 2009, followed by China with 34 percent and Japan with 17 percent. - South Korea will also boast the

U.S. Mobile Music Market Opportunity

Mobile music services � either in the form of downloadable music files or broadcast digital radio � have greater interest among US mobile customers than gaming, an application that is now providing some of the greatest mobile data revenue, reports In-Stat. However, the ecosystem that will permit widespread uptake of music applications is not yet mature, and shows signs of being put on hold until key issues, such as pricing, revenue sharing and Digital Rights Management (DRM), can be worked out. "The window to catch a group of wireless users we call �Mobile Music Intenders' - those interested in mobile music services - may be closing soon," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst. "They're ready to buy new handsets and they're willing to pay extra for handsets that play music. Without available music services or handsets, carriers may miss this opportunity to grab what could end up being a very lucrative mobile music market." In-Stat found the followin

Local Radio Station Innovation Opportunity

A survey of 35,000 radio listeners found that local radio stations would do well to better integrate their websites, and offer streaming channels, podcasts and ringtones to cater to growing interest from the key 18-29 year-old demographic. The MediaSpan study, performed by Frank N. Magid Associates, shows that 40 percent of these radio listeners access streaming radio stations weekly; 28 percent said they downloaded music monthly, with 14 percent saying they "purchased" their songs; 11 percent said they downloaded podcasts monthly, and 26 percent said they download ringtones every month. Many of the survey respondents, who were culled from 73 radio station websites, said they would download this content from radio station sites if it were available. "The study clearly showed that on-air radio has a complementary audience, online that is young, affluent, highly attractive to advertisers, and looking for unique content," said MediaSpan's Mark Zagorski. "In

Sky Confirms VOD to STBs via Broadband

Speaking at the Royal Television Society's Cambridge Convention, BSkyB COO, Richard Freudenstein, confirmed that the satellite TV provider will eventually move to a hybrid distribution model, under which it will use broadband connections to its set-top boxes to offer VOD and other services: "New Ethernet connections will allow us to deliver services such as VOD over a broadband pipe, as well as over satellite," he told attendees. Sky has already announced plans for a broadband VOD service that will deliver content from Sky Movies and Sky Sports to PC's and laptops, and, in the presentation to analysts that followed Sky's most recent earnings announcements, CEO James Murdoch stated that the company plans to eventually add Ethernet connectivity to all its set-tops. (Note: Sky's new entry-level Sky+ DVR contains 40 hours of "hidden" recording capacity: the company is believed to be reserving this additional capacity, via software, for new services

Handset Forecast to Reach 899 Million

Mobile phone handset vendors and operators are finding it increasingly challenging to grow and carve out market share, according to a report released next month by Informa Telecoms & Media. With key prosperous markets reaching high penetration levels and vendors that have previously focused on specific regions now pursuing global expansion strategies, a much reduced growth rate is predicted from 2008, with handset sales forecast to reach 899 million by 2010, from their 2005 level of 743 million. In 2004, subscribers worldwide totalled 1.59 billion with expectations for 2005 of 1.94 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20.5 percent. Driven by the ever-expanding Asian markets, China is the world�s single largest market in terms of subscribers, accounting for more than one-in-five of all subscribers worldwide at the end of 2004. The next milestone � the 2 billion subscriber mark - is expected to be surpassed sometime in 2006. The number of mobile phone users has risen year on year an

Wireless Handset Application for Americans

Ipsos Insight released research today which suggests that Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation could become the next "breakout" cell phone feature. As part of a wider survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults on technology and communications trends, nearly 9 in 10 (86 percent ) of 171 users of mobile devices that offer visual display screens say that having a GPS navigation feature would be either "very important" or "nice to have" on the next handset they purchase. The response to GPS followed closely behind email, text messaging, and camera features, also considered utilitarian features, and greatly exceeded responses of demand for cell phone capabilities for watching TV (42 percent), downloading video (38 percent), and watching movies (33 percent). Todd Board, Senior Vice President of the Ipsos Insight, said: "The emergence of GPS as a benefit of next-generation mobile devices has been largely overlooked as marketers have been focusing on ente

Digital Cable Ready Device Forecast

Today's set-top boxes will gradually give way to Digital Cable Ready devices such as TVs and DVRs that first use CableCARDs and then downloadable security to enable consumers to receive services from a local cable operator. According to The Diffusion Group's latest report, The Transition to Digital Cable Ready: Analysis and Forecasts, TV, DVR, and set-top manufacturers will begin mass shipments of these devices in 2006, with cumulative deployments expected to grow 17 fold by 2010. "While Digital Cable Ready (DCR) deployments will expand rapidly in the next few years, the product is anything but straightforward," says Gary Sasaki, consulting analyst with The Diffusion Group. "Because the early DCR solutions such as the CableCARD can involve as many as six parties - the MSO, the technician, the consumer, the CableCARD vendor, the television/DVR/STB vendor, and the retailer - it is easy to point fingers at the other guy when something goes wrong. This confusion can

Fiber Access Market to Reach $1.9 Billion

Consumers and business users hungry for increased network capacity are ready to add a little fiber to their diets. According to new research from IDC, the worldwide fiber access equipment market will reach $1.9 billion in 2009, as users migrate to higher speed data services and innovative new services such as IPTV, HDTV, and Video on Demand (VOD). The emergence of "triple play" � the integration of voice, video and data services on a single broadband connection � is driving service provider demand for more access network bandwidth. IPTV, HDTV, and VOD, in particular, are driving service providers around the world to upgrade their access networks with the capacity of fiber and the equipment that goes with it. "Fiber access networks are the 'last mile' technology that bring the capacity of optical fiber directly to consumers and businesses," said Sterling Perrin, manager of IDC's Optical Networks research. "Following the stagnation of optical core

Broadband Growth Shifts to Europe

Point Topic�s World Broadband Statistics for mid-2005 show a number of clear trends: *The growth in the number of broadband lines worldwide is levelling off *Europe is pushing to take over the leadership of broadband growth *Russia and India are making significant appearances on the broadband scene at last *�Cable ethernet� is growing rapidly as a technology solution in many countries The worldwide total of broadband lines grew to 176 million during the second quarter of 2005, an increase of 16.0 percent from 152 million lines at 31 December 2004. The total number of broadband lines added between the end of 2004 and the second quarter of 2005 was almost 24.3 million. This was barely ahead of the 24.2 million lines added in the first half of 2004, and well below the 28 million added in the second half, showing a distinct slowing in the growth rate of broadband. The second quarter of the half-year was particularly weak, even after taking account of seasonal factors � which usually

Global Wi-Fi Market Growth Performance

The worldwide public Wi-Fi market had 84,283 hotspots at the end 2Q05 according to Wireless Broadband Analyst, published by Informa Telecoms & Media this month. WBA forecasts this will exceed 100,000 by end-2005. Much of the growth still concentrates on Asia Pacific which has expanded by 35 percent from 20,119 2Q04 to 27,171 2Q05. This is despite the maturing of the Asia Pacific market, which has seen its share of the global market decline by 39 percent in 2Q04 to only 32 percent in 2Q05. Over the same period growth in other markets has increased, Western Europe takes the lead seeing its market share increase from 40 percent to 42 percent. North America also expands from 21 percent to 26 percent. The fastest growing public Wi-Fi operator in Asia Pacific is Telstra which has 711 hotspots at the end of 2Q05, a growth of 110 percent from 339 at end 1Q05. Telstra�s expansion accounts for Australia becoming the fastest growing market in the region 2Q05, with 1,036 hotspots at the end

Veoh Virtual Video Peercasting Network

Veoh Networks has released further details of what is claimed to be the first internet television peercasting network, now in beta testing, which could transform the online distribution of video material. The Veoh software, available to download in beta form for the PC or Mac, provides a virtual video network that is able to distribute full-screen, television quality video to a global audience of users with broadband internet connections. There will be no charge for publishing material, and no charge for downloading, although the ability to charge for video will be a �key feature� of the final release. Veoh aims to develop a community of publishers and consumers, with content approved by editors. The system will have integration with RSS syndication and Google Video, enabling content providers to publish to multiple video systems. A number of other initiatives are also aiming to use peer-to-peer approaches to video distribution. The BBC is about to enter a limited public trial of its

Persona-lizing the TV Viewing Experience

Viewers will be able to have their own television channel as part of a range of interactive applications made possible by broadband video services -- UK telephony provider BT is reported to be considering an application developed by the French telecommunications equipment company Alcatel, dubbed My Own TV. This will offer subscribers their own virtual channel, allowing them to share their home videos and photo collections with friends and relatives. Alcatel says the same service would allow special interest groups such as local football clubs or small towns to have their own television channels. According to a report in The Business newspaper, BT is also assessing another Alcatel product, known as Amigo TV, which allows subscribers to invite other viewers to watch a programme. They can then send text messages to one another using their remote controls. Alcatel is also said to be developing handsets with a microphone to allow users to share their comments on the programme directly with

Digital Home - Is it Science Fiction?

According to the Economist -- Technology firms are pushing a futuristic vision of home entertainment not because consumers are desperate for it but because they themselves are. Recently, at one of the fast-proliferating conferences devoted to the �digital home�, John Burke, an executive at Motorola, a maker of mobile phones and digital gadgets, showed a video that presented his company's version of this vision. In the clip, a youngish man wakes up to a rock video that automatically starts playing on a screen next to his bed. He gets up to have breakfast and the rock video follows him to a screen in the kitchen. He moves into the living room and up pops the rock video on yet another screen. When he leaves his flat and gets into his car, the video starts playing on a screen in the steering wheel. To ordinary humans this sort of thing must seem like silly�or downright frightening�marketing claptrap. In fact, even Mr Burke's audience of self-selected technophiles seemed sceptica

IMS: Revolutionary for Telecommunications?

The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) has become one of the hottest topics in telecommunications. In-Stat believes that IMS provides a unifying vision for the future of telecommunications, and that it is more appropriate now to think of IMS as an overall IP Multimedia System that consists of a single, converged architecture for wireline and wireless service providers, end-user devices with the required IP multimedia functionality, and the systems integration necessary to deliver high-quality IP multimedia services for and between any set of wireline and wireless end-users. According to In-Stat, IMS is a revolutionary vision for the future of the telecommunications industry, leading to new multimedia services, new network architectures, new business models and relationships, and new end-user devices with new capabilities. In the long term, all telecommunications services (voice services, business networking services, the Internet, IPTV) will be provided through IMS. "IMS will delive

65m Global Mobile TV Subscriptions

"Rounding off our day of mobile TV news comes a bullish piece of research on the potential take-up of the various services. According to a report released today by Juniper Research, the number of mobile phone users subscribing to streamed or broadcast TV services is expected to reach 65 million worldwide by the end of 2010. Juniper says that while streamed services are expected to account for the majority of customers (56 percent) and revenues (51 percent) by that time, the rollout of mobile broadcast TV services such as DVB-H at the end of the decade should see broadcast subscriptions and revenues overtake streaming TV by 2012. Except in Korea, where services were launched in May, broadcast TV via the mobile is very much at the drawing board, cautioned report author Windsor Holden, who says that operators and broadcasters still face significant challenges before such services can be launched."

VoIP Customers Disconnecting Landlines

Internet-based telephone services are slowly replacing traditional landline phone services, according to a new study by Telephia. Of households already subscribing to Internet telephony services, 53 percent of those considered "high-tech" -- subscribing to at least three emerging services such as satellite radio, video-on-demand and broadband -- have now disconnected their landline phones. Those surveyed identified savings on phone calls as the main factor in making the switch. "Cost savings and seamless integration of different communication services provide a compelling one-two punch for Internet telephony," said Kanishka Agarwal, the vice president of new products at Telephia. Of the households surveyed who have not yet disconnected their landlines, most cited their availability during a power outage as the main reason. More than a third also cited the importance of keeping their current phone numbers.

"United for Peace" March in Washington DC

Current TV appears to be one of the few news channels briefly reporting this morning about the "United for Peace" march in Washington, D.C. Moreover, a few print media sites are covering this important story (see the "Google News" link within the headline for this blog post). Has America really learned from past policy mistakes, like the Vietnam war fiasco? The analogy between the unwelcome Iraq occupation denial and the past Vietnam scenario continues to grow, so let's hope that we don't see a repeat performance of the Ohio National Guard slaughter of pro-peace young Americans that occurred at the Kent State University campus on May 4, 1970.

IPTV Home-Networking Solution

Ruckus Wireless Inc. has begun pitching telcos a wireless-router multimedia home networking solution based on its �BeamFlex� directional-antenna technology. Current in-home Wi-Fi solutions suffer from inadequate range, spotty coverage, interference and performance fluctuations, even for data, Ruckus vice president of products Dave Logan said. Delivering video using IPTV only complicates matters. But Ruckus� BeamFlex technology constantly looks for the best signal path between devices in the home and steers RF signals around interference, Logan said, identifying and prioritizing traffic for transmission. At 25 to 35 feet, Ruckus can transmit 25 megabits per second to 30 mbps through one to two walls, Logan said. At 50 to 75 feet, and three to four walls, Ruckus can achieve 18 to 20 mbps, he added. Ruckus installs a main router next to the digital-subscriber-line modem, then adapters at each consumer device, such as the IPTV set-top. Hong Kong operator PCCW Ltd. is the first customer for

Current Analysis: Texas Senate Bill 5 Opinion

The state of Texas has signed Senate Bill 5, the Telecommunications Reform Act, into law. The Act cites that "significant technology changes" have occurred since Texas passed its last Public Utilities Regulatory Act a decade ago. The overhaul goes into great detail governing regulations for broadband over power lines (BPL), should electric utilities choose to provide these services. Among other changes, the Act also clears the way to deregulate all incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), redefining them as "transitioning companies" that can qualify as non-dominant carriers in major markets that present at least token local competition. But most important, the Act aims to bypass the traditional local video franchise system, establishing a way for the RBOCs to receive statewide video franchises. Texas Governor Rick Perry signed the legislation into law on September 7, 2005, and the next day the Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association (TCTA) filed suit in f

Service Provider VoIP Deployment Plans

Network operators around the world will continue to expand their deployment of VOIP products and services, driven mainly by fear of losing voice revenues to established and emerging competitors, according to a major new report from Heavy Reading. "Over the next two years, carriers expect a big surge in the proportion of voice traffic that is VOIP," notes Graham Finnie, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading and author of the report. "Half the respondents surveyed said that more than 50 percent of their voice traffic would be IP by 2007, with relatively little difference expected between VOIP in core networks and VOIP in access networks." The single biggest reason for deploying VOIP is fear that traffic would otherwise migrate to competitors' networks. Not surprisingly, perhaps, this view is especially true among incumbent telcos: More than three-quarters of incumbent respondents saw fear of traffic loss as important or critically important to their VOIP strategy. Mo

U.S. Broadband Subscribers Growing Slowly

So many Americans have already moved from slower to high-speed Internet connections on their home computers that the growth rate of new high-speed customers is tapering off, a new report says. The Pew Research Center found that from December 2004 to May 2005 the number increased only 3 percent -- a statistically insignificant rise. By contrast, from November 2003 to May 2004, the number of adults with high-speed Internet at home rose 20 percent, according to the study released Wednesday. Adults who use an older and slower connection -- a dial-up phone number -- to gain access to the Internet expressed far less desire to switch to a high-speed connection -- available from their phone or cable companies -- in 2005 compared with 2002. The findings suggest the adoption of high-speed Internet service in America has gone from rapidly climbing to approaching a plateau. ``There are fewer people hankering for high speed now and that means less pent-up demand for broadband,'' said Joh

Cox Tops in Broadband Customer Satisfaction

Cox Communications outranks all others when it comes to satisfying high-speed data customers, according to a new report from J.D. Power and Associates. Cox posted a customer satisfaction index score of 733 -- 20 points more than its score in 2004. Verizon was second with a score of 729, followed by BellSouth (725), Bright House (724), SBC Yahoo (723), EarthLink (721), and Time Warner Cable (714). Cable operators dominated the scoring below the segment average of 698. Those falling below the line in the J.D. Powers study were Cablevision Systems Corp., Charter Communications, Qwest, Comcast Cable and Adelphia Communications. A full list of scores is available on the Web. On the dial-up side of the Internet fence, SBC Yahoo! ranked highest, with a score of 730. J.D. Power's scores are based on factors such as performance and reliability, cost of service, image, technical support and e-mail services. In other findings, J.D. Power said competition in the high-speed sector is cr

Canadian Wireless Broadband Network

With the Canadian government still mulling over changes to the country's access regime, two of the countries largest carriers have announced plans for a new wireless broadband network project covering more than two-thirds of the population within three years. Rogers Communications and Bell Canada announced this week that they will invest an initial $200 million to complete the first phase of the project. It will cover over "40 cities and approximately 50 unserved rural and remote communities," combining wireless spectrum licenses in 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz frequency ranges from both companies. Under the plan, the network will be managed and operated by Inukshuk Internet, an existing service provider currently owned by Rogers and NR Communications, a company linked with perennial US wireless investor Craig McCaw. Bell said that it had reached agreement to buy out NR Communications and would subsequently run Inukshuk as a 50/50 joint venture with Rogers. The partners

BRIC Countries Drive Mobile Subs Demand

1.37 billion new subscribers will be added to global mobile networks worldwide between 2005 and 2010 according to Pyramid Research�s latest mobile forecasts. Brazil, Russia, India and China, collectively know as the �BRIC� countries, will have an estimated 645m new subscribers � 42 percent of the world total. Interestingly, two other very populous countries � Indonesia and the United States � will each add more subscribers than Brazil over the next five years, although much less attention is being focused by the international vendor community on these markets. �Given the fact that mobile penetration has reached saturation in Western Europe and developed Asia, it is no surprise that market players are seeking future growth opportunities for their businesses in fast growing developing markets. Vendors, in particular, are looking with a keen eye at four of the most populous countries in the world for the sale of their infrastructure and terminal equipment,� states Pyramid Research se

IPTV Growth in China to Get Olympic Boost

IPTV in China will experience only moderate adoption before it takes off in 2008, reports In-Stat. With the emergence of salient applications and a maturing technology, the market is expected to get a boost from the 2008 Olympics hosted by Beijing. This is expected to result in 4.5 million subscribers and $231.3 million in set top box (STB) revenue in 2008. �Although many similar video services exist like analog TV, broadband Value Added Services (VAS), DVD and cable TV, IPTV promises some excellent interactive performance and ease-of-use,� says Anty Zheng, In-Stat analyst. �In China, 360 million TV users and over 20 million broadband users give IPTV a huge potential subscriber base.� In-Stat found the following: - Over 20 vendors such as UTStarcom and ZTE are providing IP STBs for carriers in China. - Nearly 90 percent of the total volume of set top boxes will be sold to end-users through bundling with carriers� service, with the remaining 10 percent being provided through traditio

Yahoo! Details Plans for IPTV

Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo!, outlined his company's television strategy in a speech to UK TV executives at a Royal Television Society Conference this week. He announced that the company is negotiating access to a wide range of content, in addition to persuading broadcasters to open up their content archives and encouraging independent content producers to regard Yahoo! as an alternative delivery channel. "Terry Semel's speech to UK broadcasters is astute and refreshing; confirming the growing importance of big-name Internet brands such as Yahoo! in what has traditionally been the preserve of content and media behemoths," commented Charlie Davies, senior analyst at Ovum. "Broadband is becoming mass market, which means a brand new distribution channel for TV and video entertainment and information into the home. So far though, the use of broadband for such purposes (otherwise known as IPTV) has been within the traditional boundaries of the existing content distribu

Cable Vendors Explore Wi-Fi Metro Mesh

Scientific-Atlanta, which, along with Motorola is regarded as the cable industry�s vendor duopoly, is partnering with Tropos Networks to develop cable-specific equipment for Wi-Fi metro mesh networks. The two companies will meld Tropos� MetroMesh Wi-Fi products with S-A�s hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) portfolio and create strand-mounted, coaxial-powered converters or wireless radios built specifically for cable networks. The mesh network will deliver wireless to end users and backhaul the data to fiber points of presence that then connect to the Internet, the companies said. The combined companies hope to bring metropolitan wireless connectivity, including limited wireless mobility, to cable�s broadband networks in competition with 3G broadband cellular networks. Cable, said Ian McPherson, president of the Wireless Data Research Group, is �taking offensive action. At the heart of it is a partnership that will unify infrastructure. Step two is the MSOs are going to have to make an investmen

Taipei Becoming First Wireless Cyber City

Taipei is well on its way to installing what some experts have called the world's largest Wi-Fi grid with more that 10,000 access points that will blanket the city's 272 square kilometers (105 square miles). Already, about 28 square kilometers are covered with hotspots, according to Taipei Mayor Ying-jeou Ma, that have attracted 35,000 users in its test phase. And by early next year, almost the entire city will be covered. "Accessing the Net will be as easy as using cell phones," explained Mayor Ma. "There will be no need for network cables and people will be able to be online anywhere, anytime." Speaking at a press conference organized by Intel Corp. to unveil its Digital Communities initiative, Ma explained that the wireless plans were the next important step in Taipei's transformation to a cyber city. And indeed, a great deal has already been accomplished since Ma was first elected mayor in 1998 with an agenda to maintaining Taiwan's global comp

Wi-Fi Failing to Attract Business Users

A Gartner Inc. survey of more than 2,000 business travelers in the United States and the United Kingdom revealed that despite the growing availability of Wi-Fi hotspots both in transit and inside transport terminals, only 25 percent of U.S. and 17 percent of U.K. business travelers are taking advantage of the technology. Public Wi-Fi hotspots have been available for several years and makers of laptop PCs have offered "built in" Wi-Fi for the past two. However, Gartner found that users are abstaining from using the technology because of educational, cultural and financial reasons rather than technological apprehension. Nevertheless, Gartner said that Wi-Fi could prove to be a beneficial differentiator in a competitive travel market if these barriers can be overcome, as they will be less costly for airlines to implement than other in-flight enhancements. Hotels remain the leading Wi-Fi hotspot locations, with more than 60,000 places across the world. In recent years, wireless

Fixed-Mobile Convergence is Evolving

The dream of using one telephone with one number whether at home, at work or on the street -- and of networks smart enough to hand over a call in progress -- is approaching reality. "Fixed-mobile convergence" is the buzzphrase for this telephonic utopia, and it is being driven by a complex blend of threats and opportunities that are analyzed in a new ABI Research study. Pressured by VoIP operators such as Skype/eBay and Vonage, and anxious to reduce costs by bringing fixed and mobile businesses together, mobile operators, mobile virtual operators and integrated network operators (including France Telecom and British Telecom) are increasingly drawn to FMC. "The case for FMC rests on the availability of low-cost, dual-use (cellular and WLAN) handsets," says the study's author, analyst Ian Cox. "The first models are nearing commercial launch, and their prices should be competitive with conventional mobile handsets early in 2006. That will be the trigger f

PC Market Demand to Remain Strong

The persistent strong demand in international markets that boosted second quarter growth in the worldwide PC market has also raised expectations for the second half of the year. According to the latest forecast from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, total PC shipments in the second half of 2005 are now expected to reach nearly 110 million, with growth of 12.9 percent versus a May target of 107.2 million and growth of 10.4 percent. The biggest drivers in the second half are likely to be the consumer segments in Western Europe and Rest Of World (including Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and Canada) with an important contribution from portable PCs. Consumer markets in other regions as well as the commercial segment will also contribute. "We continue to see remarkable growth in the consumer segment and in emerging markets," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC�s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "Low prices combined with low penetrati

RIAA Sends Cease-and-Desist Letters

In the wake of a landmark Supreme Court ruling that found peer-to-peer software providers ultimately culpable for the copyright infringement committed by their users, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sent cease-and-desist letters to seven file-sharing software firms, demanding that they stop "enabling and inducing" copyright infringement, The Wall Street Journal reported. The RIAA would not identify which companies received the letters, although The Journal reported that BearShare, WinMX and LimeWire were recipients. The Supreme Court ruling directly affected defendants Grokster and StreamCast Networks (Morpheus). Other big-name file-sharing firms include Kazaa, eDonkey and BitTorrent. "We demand that you immediately cease-and-desist from enabling and inducing the infringement of RIAA member sound recordings. If you wish to discuss pre-litigation resolution of these claims against you, please contact us immediately," reads a copy of the RIAA

U.S. Broadband Prices Up, DSL Down

The price gap between cable broadband service and phone carriers' digital subscriber lines widened to an all-time high in August, according to a survey by SG Cowen. Cable-modem service was, on average, 75.8 percent more expensive than DSL during the month, up from a 53.3 percent gap in July. While phone carriers cut prices � the average DSL price decreased by 9.2 percent � cable companies raised them. Leading the price decline was Verizon Communications which rolled out a slower service that cost just $14.95 a month, with a free month of service with a one-year commitment. By contrast, cable broadband service got 4.1 percent more expensive, on average. Comcast Corp. raised prices an average of 7.9 percent, while Time Warner Cable raised by 5.8 percent, according to the survey. Aggressive price cuts have helped phone carriers make headway in the broadband market and challenge cable companies, analyst Lowell Singer said in a note. During the first and second quarters of 2005, cable

Consumers Embrace Non-PC DVD Recording

While PCs are the expected and most obvious platform for DVD burning, it is clear that non-PC platforms are rising in popularity for this activity and DVD recording habits are evolving, reports In-Stat. An In-Stat survey shows that the greater flexibility provided by DVD playback (vs. VCR tapes) is resulting in changing consumer habits as they often play them while traveling, while at school, or elsewhere. "Consumers are becoming more active in recording their own DVDs," says Joyce Putscher, In-Stat analyst. "DVD recorders are being used to burn DVDs of personal content from home videos and digital photos, as well as TV shows and movies." In-Stat found the following: - Consumers are more likely to record TV series shows with their PVR/DVR with built-in DVD recorder than any other type of programming. - Many respondents would be willing to pay for rights to permit them to record commercial-free versions of their favorite TV shows or mini-series. - Over one-third

Mobile Corporate Email Forecast

According to the latest mobile research from IDC, the European mobile corporate email market will increase to around 13.5 million individual users � employees who use either a laptop/PDA or mobile phone to access email � in 2009, representing a compound annual growth rate of 36 percent. Although email is the most deployed mobile enterprise application to date, it is still fairly unexploited. Even with the recent success of mobile email devices such as the BlackBerry, mobile operators are just starting to provide these kinds of applications to the enterprise market on the available devices. "Mobile email solutions should operate as an integrated part of the company's existing system," said Rosie Secchi, senior research analyst, IDC's European Wireless and Mobile Communications program. "Even though email will remain the foundation of business mobility over the forecast period, it is only the beginning of inevitable business developments that will excite market

Personalized Targeted i-Advertising for IPTV

Los Gatos, Calif.-based ICTV revealed that it is collaborating with Packet Vision, a company that has developed an addressable IPTV advertising delivery platform, to enable "personalized" TV advertising that is targeted, auditable and interactive. The agreement between the companies will see them offering a joint solution which they say will allow IPTV providers to increase revenues by offering advertisers the ability to produce and deliver personalized interactive spots and to target those spots based on such factors as demographics, preferences and purchasing histories. According to the companies, the combination of ICTV's HeadendWare ability to convert standard Web content into interactive MPEG streams and Packet Vision's targeting engines will allow advertisers to minimize creative costs and maximize delivery efficiency: HeadendWare's support for standard PC, Web and Java tools will allow advertisers to create personalized advertisements that are rendered in

HP Offers Home Networking Technology

At the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo in Indianapolis last week, HP demo'd a new technology for its high-definition television sets that will allow consumers to use them to access digital files stored on their PC's. According to HP, the technology, which is slated for distribution next summer, will allow its HDTV sets to communicate with a variety of devices on a home network, and will also allow consumers to access multimedia services over the Internet. The prototype HDTV sets that HP demo'd at CEDIA contain a built-in media receiver that enables them to communicate wired or wirelessly with PC's. HP plans to offer companion software with the TV sets that will allow consumers to create virtual databases of media content on their PC's: once a library of personal media is created and a wired or wireless connection is made, the company says, consumers will be able to use their remote controls to navigate those libraries and access t

Humax Launches Portable Player-PVR

At the IBC show in Amsterdam last week, set-top box manufacturer, Humax, launched its first portable multimedia player (PMP), the Portable PVR HUP-1000. The small-footprint device (20mm thick and weighs less than 300g), which features a 4.3-inch LCD display with 16:9 ratio widescreen, allows end-users to store and watch movies; download and play music and videos; record and play back TV programs, using built-in PVR capabilities; and view digital photos. According to Humax, features of the new box include: a long-life battery, that allows end-users to view two movies or listen to 150 songs back to back and that can be charged via USB, a car adapter or an AC adapter; a mini-B USB device port with USB cable; AV Out to connect it to a TV or set-top; stereo sound; headphones and headphone socket; and 480x272xRGB pixel resolution.

WiMAX-Based Two-Way Satellite Broadband

At the IBC show in Amsterdam last week, a London-based company called WiNetworks demo'd a WiMAX-based solution designed to provide satellite TV providers with a two-way broadband network over which they can offer triple-play services, including not only voice and data, but VOD and other two-way interactive TV applications (note: the solution could also be used to enable local ad insertion). The solution, which enables an always-on return path, is based on the company's patented "Hybrid WiMAX DVB" (HWDV) technology, which it says allows satellite operators to leverage their existing customer premises infrastructure (dish, set-top box, coax wiring, etc.) to deploy a WiMAX broadband wireless network at very low cost. WiNetworks says that it is the first company to use the new WiMAX protocol (IEEE 802.16 d/e) to deliver a solution uniquely designed for the DBS industry (note: WiMAX is a new broadband wireless standard backed by around 300 telecom technology and service pr

Digital Media Revenue Set for Explosion

With entertainment giants having woken up to the online and other new business opportunities, digital revenue could grow as much as 40 percent on a compound annual basis between 2005 and 2010 for sector biggies, Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen said in a report Wednesday. Time Warner has a leg up on its peers in the field, but News Corp. is aggressively investing, and Viacom Inc. and the Walt Disney Co. also are increasingly looking for ways to expand in the digital space, the report found. This means that overall, the financial impact for the big entertainment players could become significant during the next three to five years, the report suggests. In presenting her report to attendees of the annual Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment conference in Pasadena, Calif., Reif Cohen said that estimating the market opportunity remains difficult as companies have so far disclosed few financials about their digital businesses.

AP to Launch Youth-Targeted News Service

The Associated Press (AP) plans next week to launch "asap," a multimedia news service targeted at an 18 to 34-year-old audience that will combine audio, video, blogs and wireless text, The New York Times reported. Over 100 newspapers have signed up for the service, with some integrating free asap content onto their websites and others also adding content to their print editions. A staff of 20 A.P. journalists will generate original material for the service, which will also include personal essays and other content from the wire service's staff around the world. "We have that existing cadre of correspondents and local hires in many bureaus who have things to say and stories to tell," Ted Anthony, the editor of asap, told The Times, adding, "�some of what resonates the most with this audience is not necessarily traditional journalism."

VOD Defined by Convergence, Content Control

Within five years, video-on-demand will start to make an impact on television programming and over the following several years it will mature into a full-fledged service available to many viewers worldwide, according to ABI Research. When that happens, traditional scheduling will no longer determine how we watch TV, says Michael Arden, the firm's principal analyst. The new research, Video-on-Demand and Personal Video Recorder Markets, examines the growth of the VOD and PVR subscriber base across CATV, DBS, DTT and ITPV networks, and assesses the uptake of non-operator VOD and PVR services. What will drive this evolution? First, the movement to IP delivery of video will be a key factor. Operators want to maximize the efficiency of their networks, and will turn to IP technologies to allow them to compete on cost. TV viewers will provide more demand, says Arden: this is the kind of control that consumers have shown they want to have. "Movies shown on a schedule won't intere

Mobile Content Demand Still in Question

Findings from the Mobile Content World show held in London this week indicate that problems persist with getting people to download content onto their mobile phones. A survey of over one hundred attendees found that even those closely connected with the industry don't download content - so what hope is there for the rest of the population? Payment software company Valista asked event attendees what phone they were using, and details of their content download habits as well as giving their views on the mobile content market's prospects for the next five years. The company found that 53 percent of respondents last downloaded content over a week ago, with 25 percent not downloading anything in the last month and 14 percent never having downloaded any content at all. What's more, those interviewed showed a preference for GSM/GPRS enabled handsets rather than the newer 3G devices. For those few who had accessed content, the ringtone was the download of choice, with music, gam

When is VOD Not Really Video On Demand?

According to an In-Stat commentary -- "The announcement by Disney and the Kudelski Group got us thinking about the complex art of identifying what a company actually does. The announcement highlighted a joint venture between Walt Disney Television International's Venture and Business Development Group and the Kudelski Group, a leading content security and conditional access company. The venture's goal is to develop and market a "push Video-on-Demand" service, which allows a TV service provider to deliver video content directly to a set top box with an integrated hard disk drive. This box would then allow cable, satellite, and IPTV operators using the system to offer time-shifted (pause, fast-forward, rewind, etc.) video service, just like TiVo or a cable TV-based VOD service. This announcement was notable for couple of reasons: - Disney recently suspended its MovieBeam service trial in the US due to tepid consumer acceptance and concerns about the service'

Making Mobile Music Work

The large number of stakeholders in the mobile music value chain is the key obstacle in developing a workable business model. �The addition of mobile operators to the downloadable music value-chain adds a layer of complexity; operators have to be able to successfully navigate this environment or they stand to lose out completely,� comments Pyramid Research senior analyst Nick Holland, author of the new report �Get on Track with Mobile Music: Exploring Mobile Music Best Practices.� While mobile music presents one of the greatest mobile market opportunities, operators must reach win-win agreements with publishers and vendors to provide over-the-air downloads or they will miss the opportunity to boost data ARPUs. �Mobile carriers will wield all their power to become a key part of the value chain. Their main leverage is handset subsidization, but that�s a vulnerable leverage as handset manufacturers will increasingly partner with publishers like iTunes, Napster and Real Rhapsody, cuttin

Fun with Home Networking

According to Electronic House magazine -- Home networking sounds hard. And sometimes it is. But here's a dirty little secret: It doesn't have to be difficult -- if you don't feel up to doing it yourself, however, you can always hire someone to do it for you. Many retail outlets, even cable companies can get you set up -- for a fee, of course. And more and more custom electronics dealers now offer home networking services as well. That's because someday in the not-so-distant future, it will be common to tie your audio and video systems into one big home network that's accessible from many areas in your house. So why would you possibly want a home network? Here are our top reasons, absolutely none of which contain the phrase, "just because it's cool." To share a high-speed Internet broadband connection among several computers To share a printer among several computers in different locations in your home To enjoy music files stored on your computer i

Wireless Phone Advertising Has Promise

Though consumers aren't wildly enthusiastic about mobile advertising, about 20 percent of wireless phone users in a recent survey would find some form of advertising on their mobile handsets to be acceptable, reports In-Stat. Of that group, roughly half were open to having advertisers subsidize the cost of premium services such as directory assistance, ringtones and messaging, the high-tech market research firm says. Location-based ads and opt-in advertising will also find some acceptance, the survey revealed. Wireless users were most favorable toward "opt-in" advertising. "Over a third of respondents indicated they would be willing to provide their carrier or advertisers with personal preferences in order to receive targeted advertising messages", says David Chamberlain, Senior Analyst with In-Stat. "In addition, nearly a third of respondents cited high prices as a reason they did not use premium services, making them ripe targets for advertisers who wish

AOL to Focus on Podcasting Content

America Online is applying its clout to the world of podcasting. Its AOL.com portal will attract audiences to the increasingly popular medium with original programs, repurposed audio content and powerful search capabilities brought together under the rubric of Podcasting 101. The main page will highlight the 11 most popular podcasts along with a few others chosen by the service's editors. Among those being showcased are content from CNN, KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" and Harry Shearer's "Le Show," the BBC's "Today" and "From Our Own Correspondent," Sci Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica," AOL's own "SportsBloggersLive" and Michael Geoghegan's "Reel Reviews." AOL Music and AOL Radio executive director of music industry relations Jack Isquith said Moviefone's "Unscripted" was a good example of existing programming that he expected to do well as a podcast. "No one's

France Telecom Tests 100Mbps VDSL2

France Telecom claimed a world first, with the announcement that it had commenced laboratory testing of VDSL2 transmission systems with speeds of up to 100Mbit/s on standard copper lines. The technology, which is based on similar DMT modulation to ADSL and ADSL2+, uses an extended frequency band to 30MHz to achieve the required high transmission speeds. Achieving these high speeds over existing copper plant is going to be critical for telcos as they start to deploy widescale video and triple play services. The move by the broadcast world towards high definition (after decades of delays) means that more bandwidth will be required for video services. The First European Research and Innovation Exhibition held back in June in Paris provided France Telecom with the opportunity to demonstrate that high-definition television over copper was finally becoming a reality, thanks to networks with increased bandwidth capabilities and compression techniques. Today, the company is stepping up its e

Cell Phones Continue to Gain on Landlines

Three in 10 U.S. cell phone users between the ages of 18 and 24 have ditched their landline phones, said a Yankee Group report, signaling that landlines are fading fast as a growing number of subscribers use mobile phones to make the bulk of their calls. The report comes as no surprise to big telecom companies that for several years have been busy shifting their businesses to focus more on wireless. The rapid decline in the once bread-and-butter wireline business is further evidence that companies need to embrace the change, according to analysts. �The landline is going the way of the glove-box cell phone,� said Yankee Group�s wireless global practice leader Keith Mallinson. �Plenty of people have them for safety or backup but they rarely get used.� More than 65 percent of the U.S. population owns a cell phone, the Yankee Group estimates. And the average number of cell phone minutes used by U.S. subscribers grew to 754 minutes per month � almost 13 hours � by the second quarter of 200

The Future of Entertainment

What does the next 75 years hold for Hollywood? A look into the future through the eyes of key industry players -- the Hollywood Reporter presents a series of fifteen perspective pieces from some of the usual suspects, and a few new names. Of particular interest, a piece entitled "NETWORKED MEDIA: Entertainment media embrace new outlets."

VOD Gets Boost from Free Content

Growth in Free-on-Demand (FOD) services and content over the past year has significantly increased overall consumer awareness of and usage of Video-on-Demand (VOD), reports In-Stat. Some leading cable operators like Comcast and Cablevision Systems believe that FOD services are a key differentiator in their battle with Direct Broadcast Satellite services, and they are pressuring content developers to supply them with even more FOD content. "There were approximately 7.5 million worldwide cable-based VOD users at the end of 2004," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "VOD user growth is projected to remain strong for the next several years. Total worldwide users are forecasted to rise to almost 13 million at the end of 2005, and ultimately reach 34 million in 2009." In-Stat's report found the following: - Based on an end-user survey, 25 percent of all US cable TV subscriber households have tried VOD. - The "Cost-per-VOD Stream," which measures the total c

UK ISPs Target 3 Million Home Workers

According to Point Topic, the market for products aimed at those working from home constitutes a significant opportunity for broadband services, Point Topic's first Broadband User Survey confirms. According to the BBUS results there are some 4.3 million households, 18 percent of all homes in the UK, with someone working from home. 70 percent or 3.1 million of these use the internet as a working tool. The figures show a total of 5.4 million individuals working from home, 70 percent of them, 3.8 million individuals using the internet at home. The Point Topic survey found the majority of home workers were self-employed, more likely to be male with professional or managerial occupations and be based in a London suburb or prosperous town. The highest use of home working was in London and the south east. Looking in more detail the BBUS results demonstrate that home workers fall into three broad categories: Freelancers, who are self employed with no employees. These make up 50 percent (1

Technology Marketing Investment Forecast

The IDC CMO Advisory Service projects that IT vendor marketing budgets will increase by 6.4 percent for the full year 2005. This is the fastest rate of increase over the past four years. Based on IDC�s recently completed Technology Marketing Benchmarks survey, IDC expects marketing investment to continue to show strong growth over the next twelve months and will increase by 7 percent in 2006. IDC analysts find that as tech vendors begin to more fully realize that revenue and share gains are harder to come by in the slower growth IT economy, sustained marketing investment is required to make real progress in revenue and share gains. �This is the dawn of tech marketing," said Rich Vancil, vice president with IDC's CMO Advisory Service. �The only tech vendors who will survive and thrive will be those whose marketing organization is highly skilled � both for internal and external execution.� IDC has found that as tech marketers seek to build their capabilities, many of them ar

Telecom Monthly Service Spend Rates

Parks Associates will offer a workshop at the upcoming Digital Hollywood event. Attendees will gain the following: * Insight & analysis from the top research company in the industry * Knowledge of the players in DRM, IPTV, and media players * Forecasts for these industries based off industry knowledge and consumer research * An examination of the trends and demands for IPTV, DRM, and portable media players * An understanding of current and future technologies that influence these markets * An assessment of the changing business models and services

MPAA and RIAA Join Internet2

The recording and motion picture industries' major trade groups announced that they have become corporate members of Internet2, the ultra high-speed private Internet used by the research and higher education community. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will "collaborate with the Internet2 community to consider innovative content distribution and digital rights management technologies, and to study emerging trends on high-performance networks to enable future business models." The groups have previously criticized Internet2, which is available at over 200 universities, for its allowance of lightning quick file-sharing by university students and others on the network via a program called i2hub. The RIAA has also taken the step of suing 33 Internet2 file-swappers for copyright infringement. "The movie industry is committed to working with the technology sector to find innovative new ways to deliver ente

California Incentive Bill Deferred Until 2006

Political wrangling prevented California's incentive plan from being ratified by the deadline, prompting Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez to instead shore up support ahead of next year's budget negotiations. Nunez, who authored AB 777, drafted a letter promising that he and other legislative leaders remain "committed to including industry tax incentives in the budget we pass next year." The letter, addressed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was signed by Nunez, D-Los Angeles, Republican Assembly leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, Senate President Don Perata, D-Oakland, and Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman, R-Irvine. "As you know, the motion picture and television production industry is a major contributor to our economy," Nunez wrote. "However, other states and nations are offering significant tax incentives to lure this important homespun industry away from California. That is why the tax incentives are essential to keeping motion picture and telev

Mobile Users Like E-mail, Weather, Search

E-mail, weather and search web sites are the most popular among consumers logging online through their mobile phones, according to a new study by San Francisco-based Telephia. The company said that 4.8 percent of the 191 million U.S. wireless users accessed web email sites in June. Weather related sites (3.9 percent) and search sites (2.9 percent) weren't far behind, followed by sites featuring sports and news and politics. The most popular sites among mobile users included The Weather Channel, Yahoo Mail, MSN Hotmail, Google Search and ESPN. "For people on the go, accessing the Internet through their mobile devices is an extension of their Internet use on their PC," said Kanishka Agarwal, Telephia's vice president of new products. "It is not surprising top mobile Internet categories mirror Internet content categories accessed via a computer."

U.S. Wireless Consumers are Unhappy

Customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their cell phone service as the major wireless operators in the United States merge together, said a J.D. Power and Associates report. Overall satisfaction with a subscriber�s wireless provider dropped 10 percent in 2004, the largest year-over-year change since the U.S. Wireless Regional Customer Satisfaction Index Study was launched a decade ago. The findings provide a harsh contrast to the claims of the merging companies and their officials, who hope to smooth over the possible negative effects of industry consolidation on the consumer. �Given the number of major changes consumers have experienced over the past couple of years, the gap between customer expectations and actual service experience tends to widen as uncertainty from mergers greatly influences consumer perceptions,� said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. The report, which surveyed 24,096 wireless users, found that forces l

2005 Online Music Download Forecast

In 2004, digital music generated $339 million in revenue. Of this, � la carte downloads (individual tracks and albums) accounted for $183 million and music subscription services accounted for $156 million. Apple�s iTunes accounted for approximately 70 percent of � la carte download revenue. Yankee Group estimates that in 2005 revenue from � la carte downloads and music subscription services will grow to $256 million and $192 million, respectively. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), consumers downloaded 139.6 million tracks and 4.5 million albums from legitimate music services in 2004. In 2005, Yankee Group estimates that consumers will download 199 million tracks and 5.9 million albums. However, downloads from licensed music stores continue to pale in comparison to the number of tracks downloaded from peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. With the number of P2P users continuing to grow despite efforts by the music industry to curtail music piracy, consumers down

Residential Gateways will Outnumber Modems

Yankee Group forecasts modem shipments to decrease to 17 million in 2009 from 36 million in 2005, while residential gateway shipments will increase to 62 million in 2009 from 39 million in 2005. Most consumers will replace multiple modems with one residential gateway, resulting in a significant decrease in modem shipments and a moderate increase in residential gateway shipments. The same holds true for SMBs because very few routers will replace multiple modems. This causes slow growth for overall CPE shipments. In addition to the shift in market demand, manufacturing costs for CPE will continue to decline, which affects revenue growth. The decreasing costs of modems coupled with increasingly weak demand will create little revenue opportunity. Although the residential gateway market is more robust, most homes won�t need more than one residential gateway and most SMBs will need very few routers, which hinders revenue growth.

The Consumer Advertising Backlash

According to Forrester Research, Consumers' trust in traditional forms of advertising is waning. In 2004, less than 50 percent of consumers trusted TV and radio ads, and only slightly more trusted print ads. What's more, consumers increasingly say they're bombarded with too many irrelevant ads. These negative attitudes toward traditional marketing have led consumers to take measures to block direct mailers, telemarketers, and TV advertisers from their homes in an accelerating consumer ad backlash. Consumers' impatience with ad clutter on their TVs, PCs, telephones, and inboxes accelerated between 2002 and 2004, spurring behaviors that block these annoyances. Women and young adults remain slightly more open to ads, especially entertaining ads or ones for new products. If ad-blocking behaviors slash media companies' ad revenues, will consumers make up the difference out of their own pocket? No. The amount consumers are willing to pay for ad-free TV amounts to only on

OECD Communications Outlook

The OECD Communications Outlook 2005 presents the most recent comparable data on the performance of the communication sector and policy frameworks in OECD countries. The data provided in this report map the six years of competition for many OECD countries that fully opened their market to competition in 1998. The 2005 edition also analyses the communications sector over the years following the "dotcom bubble" crisis and explores future developments. The Communications Outlook provides an extensive range of indicators for the development of different communications networks and compares performance indicators such as revenue, investment, employment and prices for service throughout the OECD area. These indicators are essential for industry and for regulators who use benchmarking to evaluate policy performance. This book is based on data from the OECD Telecommunications Database 2005 (forthcoming), which provides time series of telecommunications and economic indicators such a

Reinventing Advertising at Digital Hollywood

It is with great pleasure that we announce the formation of the "Reinventing Advertising: VOD, PVR, Broadband, Games, PODs & Mobile Consortium at Digital Hollywood" at 17th Annual Digital Hollywood Fall, Sept. 19 - 21, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. The first gathering of the Advisory Committee of the "Reinventing Advertising: VOD, PVR, Broadband, Games, PODs & Mobile Consortium at Digital Hollywood" is hosted by PerfectMatch.com Advisory Committee "Reinventing Advertising: VOD, PVR, Broadband, Games, PODs & Mobile Consortium at Digital Hollywood" Martin J. Yudkovitz, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, The Walt Disney Company Bruce Eskowitz, President, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties Shahid Khan, Managing Director, BearingPoint, Inc. Duane Dahl, President/Chief Executive Officer, PerfectMatch.com Blake Krikorian, CEO, Sling Media Warren Schlichtin, Vice President, New Business Strategies, Comcast Spo

First ADSL2+ Full IP Triple Play Service

Samsung Electronics and Versatel announce the successful launch of the first ADSL2+ full IP triple play service (TPS) network in the world. In the Netherlands, Samsung realized this fast next generation network for communications network operator Versatel that is able to offer the first triple play service through ADSL2+ to the Dutch market, now. A state of the art ADSL2+ network can provide services with speeds up to 24 Mbps. In this case, ADSL2+ enables Versatel to offer much faster and richer multi play services than providers using regular ADSL networks. Raj Raithatha, Chief Executive Officer of Versatel, stated: "Versatel is the first Dutch operator that provides multi media services over ADSL2+. Our ADSL2+ network has given us the necessary bandwidths to transmit television, video, telephony and internet services through a single copper line, thus giving Versatel a leading role in the introduction of new multi play services in the Netherlands. Given the tight time frame and

PBS to Launch Downloadable Tech Show

PBS launched two major new content offerings -- NerdTV, an entirely downloadable weekly series focused on technology, and an array of downloadable podcasts from some of the network's signature programs. NerdTV, featuring technology columnist Robert X. Cringely's interviews with tech sector personalities, will be distributed under a Creative Commons license, allowing viewers to redistribute the one-hour shows or edit their own non-commercial versions. PBS also has formally launched an array of portable podcasts, which allow subscribers to automatically download audio content from the Internet and listen to it either on their computers or through MP3 players. PBS will initially make six shows available, including such staples as "NOVA" and "Newshour with Jim Lehrer." All of the new offerings are available through the PBS.org web site.

Cross-Border Wireless Internet Services

WiBro, the wireless broadband platform favored by South Korean operators and vendors, will become a prominent access technology not only for South Korean wireless Internet businesses but also in the global arena. KT and SK Telecom have been aggressively preparing to launch WiBro commercial services early next year. WiBro vendors and operators in South Korea are already making progress faster than the WiMAX camp in terms of specification and market scale. Conventional wisdom previously regarded WiBro as a local specification fulfilling Korean local conditions only, but it is gradually becoming accepted as a potential global specification, especially when WiBro provides interoperability with IEEE 802.16e. WiBro has been expanding its global presence. In July, the Japanese government, accepted WiBro along with mobile WiMAX as a next-generation broadband wireless standard candidate. In the meantime, WiBro with VoIP can offer lots of benefits in terms of economics and fast deployment for gl

SMS Revenues to Reach $50 billion

A new report from Portio Research predicts a strong future for SMS, and that it will remain the most widely used messaging format for some years to come. SMS revenues are estimated at $50 billion by 2010 driven by almost 2.38 trillion messages. The report also highlights the slow but steady progress of other mobile messaging technologies, especially mobile e-mail and instant messaging. Since its launch in 2002, MMS has failed to assume the SMS mantle, hampered by interoperability issues and low handset penetration, says Portio. MMS can however be considered a commercial success with similar revenue predictions as SMS by 2010 from considerably less traffic. The report suggests that: "the industry must concentrate on increasing the use of Premium MMS as a marketing tool and a distribution channel while promoting growth of cheap peer-to-peer picture messaging. When MMS becomes cheap, simple and compelling, traffic will grow and revenue will follow".

WCDMA Uptake Slower than Expected

WCDMA services are penetrating markets more slowly than analysts had first anticipated, according to the latest assessment from ABI Research. The data-centric mobile communications platform looked set to enjoy rapid market success, but according to Lance Wilson, ABI Research's director of wireless research, "We have refined our appraisal of GSM/GPRS/EDGE versus WCDMA. The uptake of WCDMA is not likely to be as rapid as was once thought. It will show good growth, but there is still a lot of life left in GSM." "The rollout of WCDMA will continue," adds Wilson, "but service providers are also upgrading their GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks, so it will take a little longer for WCDMA to become the ubiquitous standard in the GSM family of technologies." Noting that "It's been difficult to gauge the uptake of WCDMA because there are so many factors affecting it," Wilson attributes the slower pace of adoption to issues of greater expense and of a lack of