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Showing posts from October, 2005

Sky Mobile TV to Launch in UK

UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB and Vodafone are launching a mobile television service in the UK. The service will be available from the beginning of November and will be free to all Vodafone live! 3G phone customers until the end of January 2006. Users will have access to live breaking news and sports reports from Sky News and Sky Sports News. Some channels will be broadcast as live and others will be custom made for mobile channels, featuring regularly updated blocks of programming. After the initial free trial period, customers will be charged �5.00 per month for each of two available channel packs, one focussing on news and sport, the other on music and entertainment. There will be nineteen channels in total at launch, with more to be added. �With Sky Mobile TV, you can now keep up with the latest news, sport and entertainment wherever you are,� said Richard Freudenstein, chief operating officer of BSkyB. �This is an innovative service that complements our existing pay-TV activiti

Comedy Central Goes Broadband

Comedy Central said it would debut a free video service on its web site optimized for broadband connections with original content for the web blended with material related to its TV shows. The new service, known as MotherLoad, will launch November 1 with mostly short clips. Content will be available as streams that users can watch continuously or as clips they can choose. MotherLoad will begin with five different channels and 450 clips. Comedy Central plans to add 50 to 80 new clips per week. Users can create their own library or channel of Comedy Central clips and send them to their friends. The service primarily will be targeted at 15- to 30-year-olds, mostly male. The MotherLoad channels will include originals, TV shows, Jon Stewart�s The Daily Show, comedians, and cult classics. Comedy Central will also include clips from some of its old shows, such as Rober Smigel�s TV Funhouse, Strangers with Candy, and Viva Variety.

American Television Archive Interviews

Google announced a joint effort with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, to make its archive of interviews with TV actors, writers, producers and directors available on Google Video. "The Foundation's Archive of American Television is probably the most diverse, complete and fascinating resource of its kind. The stories are told through the eyes of the creative geniuses -- in front of and behind the cameras -- who shaped and continue to shape television into the most powerful medium in the world," said Television Academy Foundation chairman Steve Mosko. As of today, the first 75 of the Foundation's 284 films are available from Google Video, including interviews with TV industry personalities Alan Alda, Michael J. Fox, Norman Lear, Carl Reiner and Ted Turner.

North American VoIP Forecast

North American VoIP service revenue will balloon to $23.4 billion in five years, up from just $1.24 billion in 2004. So says Infonetics Research in its latest five-year forecast for the technology, predicting a $62 billion windfall through 2009. But while pure VoIP operator Vonage retains the top spot in the burgeoning market, Infonetics says incumbent carriers are getting wise to the technology and poised to claw back significant market share. "Vonage leads the residential and SOHO VoIP subscriber market, but their share is the lowest it's been in nine months due to cable companies making gains," said Infonetics' principal analyst Kevin Mitchell. "Cablevision and Time Warner Cable each have double-digit share and combined have over 40 percent of all North American residential VoIP subscribers. Time Warner Cable is gaining subscriber share and they only sell within their footprint, not nationwide like AT&T and Vonage." Vonage controlled 32 percent of t

HDTV U.S. Adoption Forecast

Television manufacturers will see a surge in cumulative HDTV sales over the next few years, which will boost the overall market value to $65 billion by 2009, according to a new study from Parks Associates. The report finds consumers are growing less skeptical about HDTV, which is creating a gradual increase in demand for high-definition products and services. Nearly 47 percent of TV households in the U.S. plan to buy an HDTV in the next twelve months. This increase would boost HDTV sales by 30 percent and HD video services by 38 percent by the end of 2006. "Consumers are beginning to see the true benefits of HDTV," said Deepa Iyer, a research analyst at Parks Associates. "Consumers who were once hesitant to spend huge dollars on an HDTV are now reconsidering this product category." As a result, service providers, including broadcasters, cable, and DBS operators, are beginning to feel a push to expand their HD video services in order to attract more HD subscriber

New Programming Paradigm for IPTV

Keynote TELECOM�05 -- "Each wave of broadcasting technology has been driven by new programming paradigms and IPTV will be no exception, said Robert B. Clasen, President & CEO, Starz Entertainment. The introduction of broadcast TV in the 40s and 50s led to new programming formats and entertainment markedly different from radio or film; the rise of cable coincided with new networks such as CNN, HBO and ESPN; and the emergence of direct satellite providers similarly led to new channels, new networks and new sports programming packages. Clasen argues that IPTV will break the programming paradigm wide open again and that telcos should be ready to capitalize on this opportunity. Starz would like to be a programming partner with IPTV providers. Today, cable and DBS providers look upon content developers are mere suppliers, said Clasen, and the business discussion always boils down to the price for carriage. Clasen argues that IPTV providers should use their platform to experiment wi

Advice for Consumer Electronics Vendors

Brand loyalty just isn't what it used to be. Consumers of personal or home electronics devices face a market flooded with ever-cheaper products from manufacturers few have even heard of. Product lifespans -- even from vendors that are household names -- have grown absurdly short, and when they break, repair costs often equal replacement. Under these conditions it's no surprise that jaded consumers increasingly buy on price and features alone. Unable to compete on price with thousands of agile startups producing commodity goods in low-wage markets that are just as good (or bad) and much cheaper than name-brands, the established vendors have a problem: how to leverage their brand recognition to retain customers. Vamsi Sistla, ABI Research's Director of Broadband Research, has some suggestions, which are contained in the latest release of the company's "Residential Entertainment Technologies Research Service." "Neither technology nor brand is a different

BT Details IPTV Deployment Plans

BT set out its vision for a UK-wide IPTV service and announced that Philips has been selected to supply the set top box to deliver the programming. Every set top box will include a personal video recorder (PVR) capable of storing up to 80 hours of standard-definition programming (160GB) as well as being capable of delivering High Definition content. The BT-Philips partnership follows the recently announced alliance with Microsoft, which will provide Microsoft TV IPTV Edition as the software platform. "Our services will be a world first and will place power in the hands of the viewer," said Ian Livingston, CEO of BT Retail. "No longer will BT customers be reliant on TV schedules. From next year, they will be able to watch what they like when they like. This is all about giving our customers choice, convenience and control." BT's broadband service will combine access to digital terrestrial channels, an extensive video on demand library, "catch-up" TV (

Europe is Smartphone Market Leader

Worldwide annual shipments of smartphones are expected to triple over the next five years to reach sales of 153.5 million by 2010 according to new research from Informa Telecoms & Media. Their second study found this will only form 17.4 percent of all handsets sold that year, an increase on the 7 percent share for 2005 figures. According to Malik Saadi, the Author of the report �in Europe, low-end smartphones are already popular through devices such as the SPV and the Motorola MPX220�. Dr Saadi went on to say �High-end smartphone shipments were relatively slow on the uptake, mainly owing to the European market being viewed as one which is not heavily entrenched in PDAs, this contrasts starkly with the North American market.� European sales of smartphones currently account for 41 percent of this market in 2005 � with 42.3 million units shipped in the year, though market share is forecast to drop to only 36 percent in 2010 (147.3 million units will be shipped), Europe will retain t

Global Video Game Market Forecast

The release of next-generation video game consoles yet this year and early next year will spur the global games market to a record high of $58.4 billion in 2007, according to a report from U.K.-based market research firm Informa. The games industry will generate $35.3 billion in 2005, a 5.3 percent increase over 2004, the firm predicted, with the console games industry representing half of games revenue worldwide. Console hardware sales are expected to grow from $3.9 billion in 2005 to $5.8 billion in 2010, while games for the consoles will generate $13 billion this year and $17.2 billion in 2010. "We still anticipate the PS3 to take the largest share in the next wave of consoles, but it will not have such an easy time of it this time around. The Xbox 360 will benefit from first-mover advantage and Nintendo has already revealed some interesting ideas for its Revolution concept," said Informa's Zenobia Talati, co-author of the report. Informa also projects the fast-growi

First HD Telco TV Deployment

According to an In-Stat commentary -- "SureWest, which began its TV deployment in 2002 with the acquisition of the bankrupt WINfirst, announced that it would begin commercially deploying HDTV over IP in November of 2005. While there have been HDTV over IP trials, SureWest will be the first company to commercially offer the service. Verizon is the only other telco we are aware of that is offering HDTV channels but they are using RF overlay rather than IP. SureWest is the 7th largest rural local exchange carrier in the US with 145,000 access lines as of June 30, 2005. At that time, they had 13,000 video subscribers on their FTTP network and about 2,000 on their DSL network. Their FTTP network passes over 80,000 homes. The FTTP network offers 100 Mbps of bandwidth to each home. With so much bandwidth, SureWest will use MPEG-2 video compression for their HD signals. They plan to switch to H.264 some time in 2006. At that time, HDTV service will be offered to digital TV subscribers w

Worldwide Market for Handheld Devices

The worldwide market for handheld devices experienced its seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline in the third quarter of 2005. According to IDC, device shipments decreased 16.9 percent year over year and fell 8.8 percent sequentially in 3Q05 to 1.6 million units. Even as the overall market continues to trend downwards, device manufacturers are steadily pushing forward with new product introductions, software upgrades, and solution deployment, particularly GPS. Given these improvements and the upcoming holiday season, shipments are expected to increase sequentially but decline year over year in the fourth quarter. At the same time, the growth of converged mobile devices, which combine voice and data capabilities in a single form factor, is placing heightened pressure on the handheld market. Those vendors who offer both devices are starting to see shipments of converged mobile devices equal or surpass shipments of handheld devices. "The combination of tremendous com

Multi-Billion-Dollar Online Music Market

Broadband households in Europe and North America will re-shape the distribution of recorded music over the next five years, spending billions of dollars to download music from sources like Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store, RealNetworks's Rhapsody, Napster, Yahoo and a hoard of Internet service providers. According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, broadband users in these regions will spend over a billion dollars on online music this year, with sales expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2010. This figure will represent nearly 16 percent of total sales, up from less than two percent in 2004. The report predicts that use of legal music services in Europe and North America will be driven by the rapid adoption of broadband Internet access as well as explosive sales of MP3 players and music-enabled mobile phones. Despite the success that Apple has enjoyed selling individual songs for 99 cents each, by 2010 over 60 percent of online music revenues will come from subscriptio

100 Commercial W-CDMA Networks

Exactly four years after Japan's NTT DoCoMo became the first operator to commercially launch W-CDMA in October 2001, a further significant milestone in the development of W-CDMA was reached when the World's 100th commercial W-CDMA network entered service in October 2005. The century of live networks was reached when Hungarian operator Pannon officially launched commercial services over its W-CDMA network in October 2005. After taking two and a half years to reach 50 live networks during the second quarter of 2004, the number of W-CDMA networks in service has accelerated considerably and it has taken less than 18 months to double that figure. According to Devine Kofiloto, Informa Telecoms & Media's Principle Analyst "the pace of W-CDMA network roll-out might appear sluggish, but interestingly enough, it bears striking parallels to early GSM network deployment" He said "It also took 4 years for the 100th commercial GSM network to enter service, after Voda

Wireless Web Users as Innovators

New research released by Ipsos Insight in the U.S. shows that people who access the Web wirelessly are particularly likely to invest in a wide range of products and services tied to consumption of digital content. Based on a representative survey of Web-connected American adults, these �wireless Webbers� are significantly more likely than those relying on wired broadband or dial-up access to own and use digital content products and services. Wireless access is strongly correlated with use of products and services supporting an enhanced digital experience (wireless home networks, digital cable, DVRs, projection TVs, hi-fi DVDs, dual disc CDs, and gaming consoles); greater digital portability (notebooks PCs, CD/DVD burner, MP3 players, camcorder, PDAs, and PEDs, or personal entertainment devices); and access to broader digital content (subscription to music services, satellite radio, and online gaming). Wireless Webbers are also more likely than others to use VoIP. In addition, wireles

Telecom05: Showtime for Microsoft TV

"IPTV is ready to roll," said Phil Corman, Director of Microsoft TV, speaking at the iHollywoodForum event held at the Telecom05 conference in Las Vegas. Corman confirmed that initial carrier IPTV deployments based on the Microsoft platform will begin this winter in North America, followed closely be European deployments. Still, even Microsoft is predicting a gradual, long-term migration to IPTV. Regarding benefits, IPTV will have the technical advantage to truly differentiate itself from cable or satellite TV offerings. Corman believes "IPTV is better TV" due to the advanced video applications it enables. This includes the ability to control multiple picture-in-picture (PIP) sessions, advanced electronic program guides, the ability to deliver hundreds of channels, faster channel changing than cable or satellite, integrated and network-enabled PVR capabilities, VOD, and built-in home networking. Microsoft's IPTV will also be able to access streaming content on

Portable Music and Games Market

The markets for portable, handheld video games and portable music services will both eclipse $2 billion by 2009, according to a report released by market research firm Yankee Group. The firm projects that half of all portable music players will be mobile phone hybrids by 2009, although music phones will account for just a third of portable music service revenue. Likewise, by 2009 cell phones that play games are expected to garner a near equal share of portable game revenue with handheld game devices, like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. "This convergence of wireless handsets and CE devices will force wireless handset manufacturers to both compete and partner with consumer electronics manufacturers," Yankee Group said in its report.

IPTV Up Against Tough Competition

Telcos may be counting on IPTV to revitalize their businesses, but the competition they will face in the pay TV market will be expensive, relentless and possibly damaging. Cable and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers have been battling it out for PayTV subscribers and both are readying to take on IPTV. Some of the satellite broadcasters have been experiencing significant growth, including the US provider, DirecTV, which added about 1.5 million subscribers in the year ending June 30, 2005 and the UK�s BSkyB still accounts for more than half of the UK�s PayTV subscribers. "Satellite broadcasters� recent wave of success stems primarily from their exclusive content arrangements delivered along with superior value-added services," says Pyramid Research Senior Analyst Ozgur Aytar. Both DirecTV and Sky have invested heavily for the exclusive programming rights of sporting events including NFL and the UK�s Premiership. Aytar points out, "IPTV and digital cable provid

Mobile Phone Displacement of Landline

Between 23 percent and 37 percent of US wireless subscribers will use a wireless phone as their primary telephone by 2009, reports In-Stat. About 9.4 percent of US wireless subscribers already use a wireless phone as their primary phone, and compared with earlier surveys, fewer consumers feel that a wired phone is necessary. "Those who are considering wireless substitution for landline are primarily motivated by lifestyle issues, as long as they don't have to give up much in terms of quality, reliability, or services," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst. "Wireless carriers can stimulate substitution by continuing to attract customers to advanced wireless features and educating them about availability of number portability." In-Stat found the following: - Consumers who are most likely to consider replacing their landline phone with wireless are those who are already heavy wireless users. Demographics do not offer much insight into the likelihood of wirele

U.K. Movie Download Market Forecast

According to market research firm Screen Digest, the U.K. broadband movie market is set to boom over the next five years, the Register reports. Screen Digest predicted that, by the year 2010, every home in the U.K. will have downloaded at least one movie using a broadband connection. Over the same period, legal movie downloading will be worth more than $106 million in the U.K. and more than $299 million across the rest of Europe, Screen Digest said. "Although there are still issues in terms of bandwidth, download times and general consumer familiarity with the Internet as a means of consuming movies, these issues are becoming less significant," analyst Arash Amel told the Register.

UK Leads in Online Transactions

Online transactions are increasing on both sides of the Atlantic � with mid-cost purchases the most popular � but fear of identity theft and other online fraud is having a direct impact on confidence in this medium, according to a survey commissioned by online security firm RSA Security. The research survey, conducted in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States by research consultancy Momentum Research Group, gauges market confidence in conducting more frequent and higher value transactions online and helps businesses understand the key components in developing trust in online transactions. Consumers in each of these nations are spending more online today, although a significant segment is actively reducing their investment. Online expenditure per respondent during the month of September averaged �153, with 40 per cent stating that this was higher than 12 months ago. The UK leads the way, averaging �231 per consumer, and US consumers spent the least at �129 per consu

3Q05 Worldwide Mobile Phone Market

New product introductions, portfolio refreshes, and exciting new form factors helped spur growth in the worldwide mobile phone market during the third quarter of 2005. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide mobile phone shipments rose 19.1 percent year over year and increased sequentially 8.8 percent in 3Q05 to reach 208.3 million units. Year-over-year growth increased substantially over the prior two quarters, signaling a balance against slower growth during the first half of the year. Each of the top 5 vendors within the industry reached all-time-high shipment levels and maintained the same rankings from the previous quarter. "Last year, quarterly mobile phone shipments didn't reach 200 million units until the end of the fourth quarter when vendors were keeping the channels' shelves stocked for the holiday rush. As vendors announced new products earlier this year and accelerated their time to market, we've already reached this m

Top Five Search Engine Rankings

Google Search continued its lead with 45 percent of all searches, followed by Yahoo! Search at 23 percent, and MSN Search at 12 percent. AOL Search garnered nearly eight percent of searches, and Ask Jeeves Search saw two percent. Top 5 Search Engines Ranked by Search Share: September 2005 1. Google Search | 45.1% | 2. Yahoo! Search | 23.3% | 3. MSN Search | 11.7% | 4. AOL Search | 7.8% | 5. Ask Jeeves Search | 2.5% | Source: Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search, October 2005 Parent company Google has seen a solid 30 percent year-over-year growth from 62.9 million unique visitors in September 2004 to 81.6 million unique visitors in September of this year. This growth was driven by a sharp rise in unique audience among Google's most popular offerings; Google Gmail grew 249 percent from 1.7 million unique visitors in September 2004 to nearly six million in 2005, while Blogger grew 138 percent from a unique audience of 6.2 million last September to 14.7 million in September 2005. G

Consumers Prefer Mobile Pictures

Convergence is finding traction in mobile phones, with one-fourth of all U.S. Internet households willing to use a high-resolution camera phone as their primary camera, according to the forthcoming report "Mobile Market Intelligence" (Second Edition) from Parks Associates. The report also found consumer interest in mobile music applications, although photo applications are more popular among U.S. Internet households, with 52 percent (10.2 million homes) intending to buy a mobile phone with an integrated camera and only 30 percent (5.9 million homes) planning to purchase a mobile phone capable of downloading music. "Although the industry is currently focused on iPods and Motorola's new music phone ROKR, consumers would rather have a camera phone," said Vibha Pant, an analyst with Parks Associates. "Moreover, the impending introduction of advanced mega-pixel camera phones will strengthen demand, which will create great opportunities for service providers t

BSkyB Acquires Easynet Broadband

BSkyB has ended days of speculation by confirming it has agreed a �211m takeover deal with the board of broadband firm Easynet. Easynet will form part of a new BSkyB division, Sky Broadband, signalling the satellite broadcaster's determination to compete in the fast growing high-speed internet market against BT, cable operators NTL and Telewest, and other internet service providers. The satellite broadcaster said it had received undertakings accepting its offer from Easynet directors and shareholders representing 21.8% of the firm's issued shares. "Easynet innovative network and technological expertise perfectly complement Sky's strengths in programming and in making technologies easy to use," the BSkyB chief executive, James Murdoch, said. "We see value for families in moving well beyond just another triple play [of broadband, TV and telephone] to offer a new level of connected entertainment and communications," Mr Murdoch added.

Chinese IPTV Subscriber Forecast

Analysys International announced they predict that Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) will become the next global industry, with a potential market of 200 billion people, while the China IPTV market will mature into a huge market, reaching 16.7 billion RMB in revenue and 16.65 million in the predicted number of users by 2009. Its newly released Focus Report on IPTV China-2005 helps dispel misconceptions that this industry that is full of obstacles and provides high-valued results for business models based on a thorough understanding of the industry. IPTV features the combination of advantages and characteristics of telecommunications, television and the Internet. Its development signifies a great revolution, moving away from the traditional networks and TV industries by achieving real interaction. However, the early stages of market cultivation posed many threats and risks while the potential for business opportunities has attracted many players. "Uncertainty of regulations

Commentary: Free American Broadband

"Next time you sit down to pay your cable-modem or DSL bill, consider this: Most Japanese consumers can get an Internet connection that's 16 times faster than the typical American DSL line for a mere $22 per month. Across the globe, it's the same story. In France, DSL service that is 10 times faster than the typical United States connection; 100 TV channels and unlimited telephone service cost only $38 per month. In South Korea, super-fast connections are common for less than $30 per month. Places as diverse as Finland, Canada and Hong Kong all have much faster Internet connections at a lower cost than what is available here. In fact, since 2001, the U.S. has slipped from fourth to 16th in the world in broadband use per capita. While other countries are taking advantage of the technological, business and education opportunities of the broadband era, America remains lost in transition. How did this happen? Why has the U.S. fallen so far behind the rest of its economic pee

Telco TV Delay Causing Subs Downgrade

ABI Research examined the nascent market for Telco TV, and the equipment needed to support advanced video delivery services. At that time, operators were planning quite rapid project deployments, and subscriber number projections were high. The 2006 assessment paints a somewhat less rosy picture. Many projects have suffered delays, and many companies have downgraded their initial estimates of customer numbers and launch dates. Michael Arden, principal analyst of broadband and residential entertainment technologies says, "Some technical and scaling issues -- certainly outside North America -- have created delays. More broadly, at least within North America, franchising issues and regulatory and legal aspects have contributed most to the delays in a number of systems. A couple of large projects are now seriously behind schedule." However Asia, with several successful high-subscriber networks already rolled out, will show growth closer to ABI Research's previous estimates

Wireless Broadband CPE Limitations

Wireless broadband is not yet ready for primetime and is still too expensive to be truly competitive against fixed and mobile technologies - that was the surprising message from a number of operator executives speaking at the IQPC Wireless Broadband Week conference in Singapore. Leading the charge for the sceptics was Bharti Televentures CTO Jagbir Singh who said that wireless broadband had to meet the price points of DSL if it was to become a truly competitive platform. "Current CPE prices are in the range of $150 to $300 and CPE with advanced features is even more expensive," Singh said. "How do I compete when an ADSL modem is just $20?" Singh said that the business market was the only viable target for wireless broadband at present, and that the platform needed to offer voice to become genuinely attractive. "Data only is a very tough business case," he warned.

Wireless Automation Growth Forecast

Mobile subscriber markets in highly developed regions of Europe, North America and Asia/Pacific are becoming saturated and the heady growth seen just a few years ago is inevitably slowing. Moreover, as markets tend towards saturation, additional subscribers generally bring lower levels of overall spending. Data markets are still new and relatively untapped but the efforts required by mobile network operators and service providers to persuade subscribers to spend more on data services are costly and there is no guarantee that subscribers will not be lured away by offers from competitors. So where else can mobile operators and equipment vendors look for future high growth rates? Wireless automation, telematics and M2M have been waiting in the wings for several years, growing steadily from a low base. Freda Benlamlih, author and mentor of a Informa Telecoms & Media�s strategic report believes that conditions are now coming together for automation technologies to take off more strongl

Consumer Electronics 2005 Forecast

Revenues from sales of consumer electronics (CE) are expected to increase 9 percent during the upcoming holiday shopping season, show the results of a new survey presented today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The survey results were revealed during CEA's 2005 Industry Forum, a technology leadership, education and networking event being held in Las Vegas. CEA Director of Industry Analysis Sean Wargo shared top-line results from CEA's 12th Annual Holiday Sales and Forecast survey. Based on the survey, CEA is forecasting that overall holiday spending will increase 14 percent per average household over 2004, from $1,254 to $1,430, factoring in gifts, decorations, food, travel and other assorted holiday expenses. The MP3 player topped both lists this year displacing the digital camera at the top of the gift list and the plasma TV at the top of the wish list from last year's survey. According to the 1,000 randomly selected U.S. adults CEA interviewed by phone, c

DigitalLife 2005 Breaks Record

The DigitalLife show in New York City was apparently a hit with consumers � 60,000 of the most plugged-in folks in the area came to look at the latest gadgets. PCMag.com's DigitalLife Photo Blog Video from the DigitalLife Show ExtremeTech Show Summary and Commentary

Europeans Using Multimedia Phones

Europeans who own cell phones equipped with an MP3 player are four times more likely to use their phone to listen to music than their American counterparts, according to a report from market research firm Telephia. The survey found that 14 percent of European wireless subscribers now own a music phone; of these, 36 percent listen to music on their music phones, while the same is true for just 8 percent of Americans with music phones. "The advanced infrastructure and the higher availability of music-capable devices in Europe are key factors behind the bigger growth in adoption. The U.S. market is still waiting for higher bandwidth networks that would support faster full track music downloads," said Telephia vice president Kanishka Agarwal. The study also tracked the most popular music phone models, and found the Nokia 6230 leading among Europeans with a 26.6 percent market share, followed by the Samsung SGH-D500 (11.5 percent), Sony Ericsson K700 (9.6 percent), Nokia 6630 (7

Premium Internet Video Services Forecast

Despite some tough competition from other sources, video content services will become a leading-edge portion of all premium subscription services offered via the Internet, reports In-Stat. By 2009, non-adult video content delivered as subscription or pay-per-download over the Internet will have a worldwide retail value of $2.6 billion. "The video desires of most consumers will continue to be served by free-to-air broadcast TV, and by pay TV services like Cable TV and Satellite," says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst. "But a thriving premium video market will develop over the Internet. Really Simple Syndication (RSS), audio podcasting, and upcoming video podcasting initiatives will certainly drive demand for lots more video on the Internet. Apple's announcement that brings ABC's Desperate Housewives onto Apple's iTunes service marks a major turning point for video over the Internet." In-Stat found the following: Companies that provide video content will

Worldwide IPTV Growth Forecast

Multimedia Research Group, Inc. (MRG, Inc) announced its new semi-annual IPTV forecast as part of its IPTV Tracking Service. Projecting growth from 3.7 million subscribers in 2005 to 36.9 million in 2009, the report also forecasts subscriber revenue growth from $880 million to $9.9 billion in 2005-2009. �IPTV is continuing to push forward in Asia and Europe, as deployments and trials in Japan, China, and India are really starting to show positive impact,� states Bob Larribeau, MRG Senior Analyst. �The U.S. RBOCs are still lagging, due to issues that SBC and BellSouth are facing, waiting for low-cost MPEG-4 set-top boxes and Microsoft�s software, and dealing with the complexity of the system integration required. Progress in Europe is making up most of the difference.� Based on information from over 270 IPTV carriers worldwide, the report identifies the top carriers in each of four regions (Asia, Europe, North America, and ROW), broken down by seven product/service segments for 2005 t

TR-069 Remote Management Test Event

Seventeen vendors successfully participated in the first DSL Forum TR-069 Interoperability Test Event, held at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab. This multi-vendor event represents a major milestone in the maturity of TR-069, its extension specifications and the products that implement them. The diverse vendor participation demonstrates the strength of market adoption of the DSL Forum's suite of DSLHome specifications. Providing a comprehensive framework for deployment and management of next generation home networking equipment, TR-069 defines a CPE WAN Management Protocol for remote activation of routers, gateways and other premises devices. Together with its extensions, TR-104 for VoIP and TR-098 for QoS, the protocol specifies parameters for automated configuration, service provisioning and other management functions including diagnostics. This set of specifications enables a common mechanism for dynamic provisioning of voice, data and video triple play serv

Challenges for Broadband over Power Line

The idea of transmitting data over electrical power lines is not new. Trials are in progress worldwide and a variety of equipment is available, but no large-scale deployments have been completed. Two modes exist: "broadband over power line" (BPL), offering high-speed access via the electrical grid; and data transfer around the home. The latter comes in several regional flavors with different names including HomePlug and the more generic PLC. Power line communications offer theoretical benefits to some consumers and some providers. But a new study from ABI Research shows that these are still infant technologies facing significant obstacles to success. Serious bandwidth and radio interference issues remain, and would-be BPL vendors face stiff competition from incumbent DSL and cable networks. In-home PLC presents other challenges. While realistically positioning themselves as collaborators, not competitors to home networking technologies like Wi-Fi and MoCA, PLC developers

PC Market Growth Tops 17 Percent

Worldwide PC shipments increased by more than 17 percent in the third quarter despite rising interest rates and oil prices, and a more conservative economic outlook, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The appeal of both low-cost and portable systems continued to drive substantial growth. International markets continued to grow quickly, but even U.S. shipments grew by 11 percent over the prior year. The latest data show total worldwide PC shipments increasing by 17.1 percent year on year versus an August forecast of 13.3 percent. Regional Outlook United States � A strong back-to-school season provided a boost to the market and mid-tier vendors performed well following distribution channel adjustments. Hurricane Katrina likely had some impact on the last month of the quarter, although a larger impact is expected for the fourth quarter as rising fuel prices and falling consumer confidence contribute to economic and inflationary worries. EMEA � Small business and co

Aeon Digital TV-PVR-AP DIVA

Aeon Digital has unveiled a flat screen television with integrated digital video recorder and a wireless router enabling it to stream or download music or movies over a broadband connection. The product will be available with a 32�, 37� or 42� LCD screen, with a built-in 200 hour personal video recorder. It will include an 802.11 b/g wireless router and access point, and will be able to stream or download a selection from thousands of movies or over 1.5 million music tracks over the online Aeon Network. It will also be possible to access movies, music and pictures stored on a personal computer, although this is not required to use the other features. The system is known as DIVA, and will include a free program guide, including local television listings. On show at the Hong Kong Electronics Show, the device will be on the market in January 2006 and the technology will be available to screen manufacturers. Aeon Digital expects lower manufacturing costs will offset the expense of integ

3G Mobile Network Market Trends

Wireless handset component makers are scrambling to support some challenging market trends including the proliferation of 3G services, reports In-Stat. By mid-2005, the number of 3G subscribers (CDMA2000 1X EV-DO & WCDMA) exceeded 50 million. The rollout of 3G services has created pressure for carriers to earn cellular data revenue, and has spawned a multitude of cellular devices of every shape and size, and with almost every feature possible. "3G networks have made 2005 an exciting time for subscribers and a trying time for handset and component makers," says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. "Carriers have spent billions to get their data networks off the ground; they have become desperate to start getting some payback." In-Stat found the following: - Price pressures are accelerating. GSM handsets have hit the $30 level, and the push is on for $20. WCDMA handsets, most of which also support GSM, remain expensive, but prices are dropping fast. - Chip counts are

UK Launch of ITV Local

A major new development in television technology was unveiled today by the UK's largest commercial broadcaster, ITV. Using the Television Operating System (TelVOS) developed by Narrowstep Inc, the new service, called ITV Local, is currently on the air as a trial with two initial local community channels for Brighton and Hastings. The new service features local news, weather, music and what's on guides, as well as locally produced short films, features and entertainment and is available globally at http://itvlocal.tv "The rapid advance in the number of broadband homes in the UK, combined with improvements in streaming technology and Narrowstep's Television Operating System, has transformed the opportunities for local broadcasting," said Lindsay Charlton, the ITV project director. "By combining our traditional broadcasting expertise with the opportunities of the web, we are creating something truly unique."

Access to the Digital Home

On the road to the future, all highways to the home are broadband -- but who constructs and operates those digital delivery paths is anyone's guess. Cable, satellite, telephone-TV, high-speed Internet, wireless broadband and digital terrestrial television are all pipes that can deliver high-speed digital bit-streams to the home. "They're all jockeying for position," says Gerry Kaufhold, a principal analyst at In-Stat, a market-research firm specializing in communications and broadband. But don't reserve a ringside seat for the knockout blow -- that might be a long time in coming. "The inroads being made by wireless and other emerging technologies will take some time before they trounce any existing wireline business," Interactive TV Alliance CEO Allison Dollar says. "There will be some very interesting mergers and acquisitions." For example, WiMAX, Intel's high-speed wireless broadband service, is not set to roll out for another two to th

Cable HSD Broadband Growth Forecast

Kagan Research published a report predicting the growth in new high-speed data (HSD) customer additions for cable operators in the U.S. will crest in 2005, but the continued migration of dial-up customers promises expansion for the industry. Kagan forecasts cable modem subscribers will top 38 million by 2009, amid intense competition from DSL providers. Report highlights include: * Cable currently dominates the HSD market with approximately 60 percent market share. Kagan projects that will shrink to 53 percent by 2009, with telco providers growing share from 35 percent in 2001 to 40 percent in 2009. * The average recurring monthly revenue from a cable sub is more than $41, leading to a total annual revenue of $9.5 billion. in 2004. The average recurring monthly revenue from the average DSL sub at $32 generated annual revenues of $5.76 billion. in 2004. * BellSouth at the end of 2004 had the highest penetration of DSL subscribers to total access lines at 9.8 percent. With an estimate

More Americans Watch Streaming Video

More than 94 million people in the U.S., or 56 percent of the country's Internet users, viewed a streaming video online during the month of June, according to new statistics released by comScore Media Metrix. The research firm said that over the three months ending in June, the average consumer viewed 73 minutes of streaming video content each month. "This research confirms that streaming video is now part of the web experience for a broad base of consumers," said Peter Daboll, the president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix. Male users, who represent half of the total online population, accounted for 61 percent of all video streamers.

Media Center PCs Stream to Xbox 360

Microsoft on Friday introduced a software update for its Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, which will allow users to stream digital music, videos, photos, and standard and high-definition TV and movies from their Media Center PCs to any television hooked up to an Xbox 360 game console. Built-in Media Center Extender technology on the Xbox 360 will enable streaming of content from more than 75 providers, including new additions like MTV Overdrive, VH1, Comedy Central, AOL Radio with XM, Akimbo Systems and Game xStream. Microsoft said more than 4 million PCs are now running its Media Center software, adding that 46 percent of PC sold in September shipped with Media Center, according to data from Current Analysis.

IPTV Set Top Box Forecast

Increasing deployments of TV services by telco operators are boosting the IP/DSL set top box market, reports In-Stat. As a result, shipments of IP/DSL set top boxes (STB) will grow from 1.7 million in 2004 to 16.9 million in 2009, the high-tech market research firm says. At that point, this market will surpass the digital cable set top box market in size. Despite the market's great opportunities, In-Stat believes it cannot support the number of currently participating vendors. "There are over 80 vendors offering IP/DSL set top boxes today," says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. "That's too many vendors for a market of this size. Only about 25 of them have telco customers." In-Stat found the following: - Free was the top supplier of IP/DSL set top boxes in 2004. - IP/DSL set top box Average Selling Prices (ASPs) are highest in the Americas due to the desire for DVR, HD, and multi-room boxes in North America. - The greatest technology shift in IP/DSL s

Broadcast TV Discovers VOD

According to In-Stat, it looks as though the broadcast networks and the cable operators are getting serious about bringing prime-time content to video-on-demand (VOD) platforms. Signs indicate that the networks could launch on-demand services as early as next summer on some systems. Why? It gives the major TV networks and TV station owners a chance for their Holy Grail -- money from the local Cable TV system. For the Cable TV operators, it provides two things. First, it puts some "sought after" content onto their VOD service. Second, Since about 80 percent of the viewers are only going to be watching Prime Time network shows � the Cable operator can provide most of their subscribers with a "virtual PVR," eliminating the need for deploying a REAL PVR into each home. Ultimately, this could save the Cable operators some investment and give them a low-cost alternative against the satellite services, which have to deploy a REAL PVR with each subscriber. One could arg

MTV Networks Acquires iFilm

Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks unit took a further step to broaden its Internet exposure, announcing that it has taken over privately held online video destination iFilm Corp. for $49 million. Hollywood-based iFilm has earned a reputation as a buzz-builder, with its more than 10 million users per month and the delivery of more than 30 million streams per month. It says it features the largest library of short-form entertainment video content on the Web, with programming coming from Hollywood studios, amateur filmmakers and user-generated content. Among the site's content are movie trailers, video clips, TV show clips, video game trailers and more. The deal will allow MTV Networks and Viacom to get further access to the fast-growing online advertising market and give its content businesses, including Paramount Pictures, a chance to potentially develop creative and talent featured on iFilm. The Web site, on the other hand, will get easier access to Viacom's libraries of content

DigitalLife for the Rest of Us

What do Cosmopolitan Magazine, IBM, AMD, Jackie Chan, Netgear, Newegg, Best Buy, Nvidia, ExtremeTech, Nintendo, and Microsoft all have in common? Answer: They'll all be at DigitalLife. DigitalLife is a trade show that's organized and managed by Ziff-Davis. But it's not your typical trade show. Many large shows like CES or E3 are aimed at people who are buyers of massive amounts of technology for retail or online outlets, such as Best Buy or Amazon.com. Other shows, like Game Developer's Conference, WinHEC, or Apple's WWDC are aimed at people who will be developing products. To steal a bit of ancient Apple marketing, DigitalLife is the show for "the rest of us." It's aimed at people who are trying to figure out how technology � consumer electronics, PCs, home networking, HDTV � will fit into their lives. If you're looking to make a buying decision on a particular class of products � "do I buy an HDTV this year, and if so, which one," the

MTV Networks Launches mtvU Uber

MTV Networks has announced the launch of its first channel to be distributed entirely over broadband, "mtvU Uber." In addition to making the company's campus mtvU channel content available to all online, the broadband site will feature original programming like student-produced short films, music, videos, animation and webisodes. MTV and Cisco Systems have partnered to offer ten $25,000 grants to college students who develop original content for mtvU Uber. The "broadband incubator"-developed content will debut on the channel in the spring of 2006. The site will let students upload MP3s and videos from their own bands, as well as amateur music videos produced for their favorite bands. "With today's announcement, we are handing over an entire channel online to college students and everyone who wants new music," said mtvU general manager Stephen Friedman. "mtvU Uber gives them the power to create and program their own channel, and will remain in

MP3 Player Market Fueled by Flash

According to IDC, the portable compressed audio (MP3) player market continues to surge, led by the portable flash player category which is expected to grow from 26.4 million units shipped worldwide in 2004 to nearly 124 million units in 2009. Growth in the portable flash player category is expected to be fueled by falling flash memory costs, vendor adoption of flash for multiple device storage capacities at competitive retail price points, availability of paid online media services, and growing consumer awareness of and demand for portable MP3 players. However, music-enabled mobile phones are expected to inhibit the portable MP3 player market somewhat during the forecast period and the extent of this trend will vary by world region. IDC segments the compressed audio player market into four major categories: portable, home and automotive audio-focused devices, and a fourth "other" category of devices that support compressed audio as a secondary feature (such as DVD players, m

FTTH Communities Top 650

Fiber-to-the-home technology is available in 652 communities connecting 322,700 homes, according to research released at the FTTH Conference in Las Vegas. That�s triple the number of communities and more than double the number of homes reported in September 2004: 217 towns and 146,500 connected homes. Those figures should only increase as Verizon Communications Inc. continues its FiOS buildouts. The report was released by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council, the Telecommunications Industry Association and Fiber Optic Communities of the United States.

Mindshare Metrics: Google, AOL & MSN

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, with Google and Comcast in discussions with Time Warner about purchasing a minority stake in AOL, the following are some Internet mindshare metrics worth noting. MSN, Google and AOL ranked as the third through fifth most popular Web brands during September 2005. Were AOL & Google or AOL & MSN to merge, the resulting Web entity would clearly be the No. 1 Website, each comprising an active reach of 72 percent or 79 percent, respectively. Google and AOL would attract 107 million unique visitors, while MSN and AOL would garner 118 million unique visitors. Clearly, any potential partnership or merger could potentially change the future course of the online advertising business.

WiMAX: Ready for Deployment?

By 2010, the worldwide WiMAX market is forecasted to reach $3.5 billion and account for 4 percent of all broadband usage. This growth will be driven by new equipment from a growing list of hardware suppliers and an increasing number of WiMAX trails and deployments. These are some of the key findings from a new research report: �WiMAX: Ready for Deployment?� published by IDATE and now available from Alexander Resources. Key findings include: * WiMAX has attracted many leading equipment manufacturers and component suppliers. Many are also forming strategic partnerships. Alcatel and Intel have implemented a dedicated WiMAX program. Nokia, which views WiMAX as a complement to 3G, partnered with Intel to incorporate WiMAX into future handsets. Other key suppliers include Airspan Networks, Alvarion, Aperto Networks, Fujitsu, Motorola, Navini, Nortel, Proxim, Redline Communications, Sequans, SR Telecom, Wavesat Wireless, and Wi-LAN. * WiMAX systems and services are being evaluated/deployed

The Real IPTV Threat to Cable

In a new report to investors on cable and broadband, Friedman Billings Ramsey media analysts Alan Bezoza and Brian Coynes say that cable's biggest competitive threat for video delivery is not the short-term competition from telcos but the long-term threat of internet-based content delivery. Pointing to IP telephony, which cable has a piece of as well, and Apple's "revolutionizing" of music delivery via iPod/iTunes, the report says the Internet will become the primary deliverer of video content, with companies like Google, Yahoo and AOL becoming the next big aggregators and distributors of content. The internet has made "on demand" content the baseline going forward, says FBR. The report predicts that unless cable, telco and satellite companies adopt Internet-based video delivery models, "their value in the new value chain will become limited to data transport services." But potentially very profitable data transport services. It says cable is in

Earthlink to Offer Mobile Phone Service

Internet service provider Earthlink plans to get into the cell phone business by offering mobile phone service over its citywide wireless networks through its partnership with South Korea�s SK Telecom, a company executive said Thursday. The service provider will offer cell phones able to switch between its Wi-Fi networks and cellular networks in cities where the company runs a Wi-Fi network beginning sometime next year, Donald Berryman, the president of EarthLink Municipal Networks, told RedHerring.com. The plan will no doubt further raise the ire of telcos, as telcos, cable companies, and others have lobbied for legislation to stop municipalities from offering wireless networks. By selling cell phones, Earthlink could dominate wireless communications in cities, beyond just its immediate Wi-Fi plans. Earthlink won a contract to blanket Philadelphia with a 135-square-mile Wi-Fi mesh network. Earthlink said it will look to offer citywide wireless networks in 20 to 30 cities over the ne

UMG is Ready for Transformation

Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company, said that it was well-poised to transform itself from a "record company" to a "music entertainment company" by finally being able to take advantage of the technological changes that have aided illegal downloads and blighted the music industry in recent years. Addressing a group of analysts and investors in London, UMG executives, including chairman and CEO Doug Morris and president and chief operating officer Zach Horowitz, said existing digital businesses will be "the engine of growth for the next several years." The executives said that UMG, part of Vivendi Universal, did not intend to embrace one business model for the future, but would instead "aggressively pursue all avenues" to maximize profits. "New opportunities will emerge to monetize our assets and create new revenue streams," the company predicted. Revenue from existing digital initiatives, including downloads,

DVB-H Mobile TV Revenue Forecast

The digital video broadcasting (DVB-H) standard for delivering mobile TV to cell phones will gain momentum in Europe by 2008, and grow to reach $8.3 billion in annual revenues by 2011, according to a report from market research firm Frost & Sullivan. Ambiguities regarding spectrum allocation are expected to be worked out by manufacturers, who are forecasted to begin DVB-H mobile TV trials by 2008. While initial pricing may be kept lower to attract new customers, by 2010 European service providers are expected to be offering mobile TV for between $8.50 and $15 per month. "By 2011, video services like downloading would be used as a sales channel for specific video content while DVB-H takes over as the primary channel for mobile video services," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Pranab Mookken.

Brightcove's Indy Internet TV Service

A group of technology veterans including Macromedia Flash creator Jeremy Allaire, About.com founder Scott Kurnit, and Lycos general counsel Andrew Feinberg have announced the launch of Brightcove, an Internet TV service designed to let video creators post their content online and set up means of generating compensation and syndication. Massachusetts-based Brightcove will not charge independent producers for uploading their content, but will receive a share of the advertising and other fees generated by the videos; producers may also opt for ad-free video, in which case they will be charged according to the bandwidth used for traffic they generate. "We are committed to transforming the distribution of video and TV programming through the Internet, and we have assembled a team that has the skills and experience to make that vision a reality," said Brightcove founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire.

U.S. HDTV Set Penetration Forecast

High-definition television (HDTV) will make great strides over the next five years, with market penetration growing from 21 percent at the end of 2004 to 2010, when 70 percent of all televisions sold will be HDTV sets, and 63 percent of U.S. households will own an HDTV set, according to a report from JupiterResearch. "After a slow start, HDTV is beginning to generate real consumer appeal. We attribute this to the increase availability of HD content as well as the growing number of HD sets available at retail," said JupiterResearch associate analyst Joni Blecher. The report also forecasts that LCD flat screen and projection display sets will make up the majority of U.S. sales by 2010. "With prices dropping, greater prominence in the retail channel and the impact of the FCC's digital tuner mandate on manufacturers, we are forecasting a steady increase in HDTV unit sales over the next five years," said JupiterResearch senior vice president David Schatsky.

WiBro: Mobile WiMAX in Disguise?

WiBro is a soon to be implemented mobile high-speed Wireless Internet access service for the South Korean market. Positioned between traditional wired broadband access and mobile phone data services, it could fill an important niche. KT and SK Telecom are aggressively preparing to launch commercial WiBro services early next year. WiBro equipment vendors and service operators are making progress at a faster pace than the mobile WiMAX camp in terms of standard realization and system rollout. Until recently, WiBro was considered only as a South Korean domestic network but that perception is changing rapidly. Built-in compatibility with mobile WiMAX (802.16e), coupled with already-designed terminals and network equipment could make WiBro, and the participating vendors, powerful players on the world market. WiBro itself is attempting to expand globally with Japanese, South East Asian and U.S. service operators conducting trials. According to ABI Research senior analyst Andy Bae, "Wi

Global Mobile Worker Population

Today's businesses are recognizing the growing importance of the mobile worker, who is perhaps one of the more strategic employees of an organization, and that job functionality can be enhanced by mobility for a significant portion of the workforce. As organizations continue to implement mobile solutions, IDC expects the mobile worker population to increase from more than 650 million worldwide in 2004, to more than 850 million in 2009, representing more than one-quarter of the global workforce. Since 1999, IDC has been forecasting the mobile worker population across a variety of regions and at a country level. This study presents, for the first time, a worldwide view in five regions. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) currently has the largest number of mobile workers, followed by the United States and Western Europe. The United States had the highest percentage of mobile workers in its workforce in 2004, and is expected to reach over 70 percent mobile workforce penetration by the en

New Apple iPOD Features Video

Apple Computer Inc. unveiled Wednesday an iPod capable of playing videos, evolving the portable music player of choice into a multimedia platform for everything from TV shows to music videos. Videos will now be sold online alongside songs on Apple's iTunes Music Store. Citing a groundbreaking deal with ABC Television Group, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said the online iTunes store will sell episodes of hit shows "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" for $1.99 each, making them available the day after they air on television for viewing on the new iPod's 2.5-inch color screen. Analysts consider Apple's much-anticipated introduction of a video iPod a test of whether consumers would embrace video on such a small screen. Over-the-air TV services are already available for cell phones but the quality remains substandard. "It's never been done before, where you could buy hit TV shows and buy them online the day after they're shown," said J

BRIC Mobile Gaming Market

According to a recent Pyramid Research survey of mobile phone users across the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries and the U.K., India ranked as the top mobile game market. Of the 355 respondents in India that identified themselves as mobile data users, 32 percent said that they play mobile games monthly, exceeding the UK mark of 15 percent. �Almost a third of Indian mobile data users were restricted from mobile gaming by a lack of sophisticated handset availability,� says Pyramid Research Senior Analyst Nick Holland. Handsets lag behind users� desire for data capabilities; 94 percent of mobile handsets in India operate on either GSM or CDMA One standards, both with minimal data capabilities. With the rollout of new handsets and networks, Pyramid Research believes the mobile gaming market could expand 700 percent by 2010. �Also noteworthy is the level of traction that occurs with India�s mobile gamers� adds Holland. �Respondents from other countries that tried mobile

DCR: Battle for the Consumer Experience

As the cable TV industry, consumer electronics manufacturers, and content providers prepare for Digital Cable Ready devices, a battle will be waged over who controls the user experience. According to The Transition to Digital Cable Ready, The Diffusion Group's most recent digital media analysis, each of these three groups has diverse and often conflicting motives for pushing DCR: Cable operators hope to eliminate the expense of subsidizing digital set-top boxes, but are determined to maintain control over the user interface, and even reach beyond the television into the home's network; Consumer electronics manufacturers are hoping to wrest control away from the set top box through the sale of DCR-enabled TVs and DVRs, and are reluctant to grant cable operators exclusive license to the user interface; and Content providers, advertisers and programmers are hoping interactivity will measurably improve their control of user experience, while the viewer finds new ways to thwart t

NTT DoCoMo Highest Data ARPU

Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo again recorded the world�s highest data ARPU in Q2 2005, according to the September edition of Informa Telecoms & Media�s World Cellular Data Metrics. Thanks mainly to its successful i-mode portal, NTT DoCoMo�s subscribers spent $17.6 per month on data services during the period. Japan is clearly the leading market in terms of data ARPU. NTT DoCoMo�s domestic rival KDDI took second place in the data ARPU rankings ($16.4) with Vodafone Japan in fourth ($12.4). �NTT DoCoMo�s i-mode ARPU alone amounted to $16.9 in Q2 2005 - this is higher than many operators� voice and data ARPU combined,� observed Kester Mann, Senior Research Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. NTT DoCoMo had more than 43.3 million active i-mode users as of June 2005, equivalent to 85 percent of its total subscription base. NTT DoCoMo�s total data revenues exceeded $2.4 billion for the period.

Role of User-Generated Newscasts

The avalanche of high quality video, photos and e-mailed news material from citizens following the July 7 bombings in London marked a turning point for the BBC, the head of its global news division said. Richard Sambrook, director of the BBC World Service and Global News Division, told a conference the broadcaster's prominent use of video and other material contributed by ordinary citizens signaled that the BBC was evolving from being a broadcaster to a facilitator of news. "We don't own the news any more," Sambrook said. "This is a fundamental realignment of the relationship between large media companies and the public." Sambrook likened the increasing use of user-generated news material to a sports game in which the crowd was not only invading the field but also seeking to participate in the game, fundamentally changing the sport. Sambrook was speaking on a panel with other media professionals at a conference on "citizen journalism" organized by

U.S. iTV Market Growth Forecast

When more than half of U.S. TV households have digital set top boxes -- projected to occur in 2009 -- cable operators can expect a boom in revenue from interactive TV (iTV), electronic transactions, and high-speed voice and data services, according to Kagan Research. Total consumer revenues from all gaming, television commerce, and interactive advertising will hit $2.4 billion by 2009, with cable operators pulling in $780 million. Kagan Research explains -- as other analysts have said -- that growing competition for video customers has pushed cable operators, satellite distributors, and Telco companies to search for other revenue sources apart from traditional monthly subscription TV fees. The report says current U.S. interactive TV activity lags behind interactive TV business in Europe. But rapidly expanding technologies could bridge the gap between U.S. and European interactive TV businesses soon.

Portable Entertainment Device Study

More than 152 million Americans -- about 70 percent of the total U.S. adult population -- now own portable entertainment devices, according to a new report from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). "The increasing number of consumers who own portable entertainment devices is creating a huge market for handheld content," said Steve Koenig, the CEA's senior manager of industry analysis. "In fact, we estimate that consumers who own these devices will spend $8.3 billion on entertainment content for them in the next 12 months." Study results indicate that listening to music and communicating with others through e-mail are the most common activities for adults using the various devices. Sixty-eight percent of online adults said they used their portable devices to listen to music; the study found MP3 player household penetration has grown to 15 percent, up from 11 percent a year ago. The study also found that wireless phones and handheld PCs are the most commo

Global Digital Music Sales Triple

Nearly offsetting a decline in physical music sales, digital music sales tripled in the first half of 2005 to account for 6 percent of total record industry sales, according to a report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). While digital music sales were up 6 percent in the first six months of the year -- to $790 million, from $220 million in the first half of 2004 -- physical music sales fell 1.9 percent to $13.2 billion. The IFPI data includes the sale of a la carte song downloads, music subscription stores and mobile music services offering both full-track and master recording ringtones; sales data from monophonic or polyphonic ringtone sales were not included. In the U.S., single track download sales were up almost threefold in the first half of 2005, to 159 million, while in the U.K., downloads increased tenfold during the period to 10 million, and similar robust download sales growth was also seen in Germany (8.5 million) and France (up fourfol

Enhanced Wireless Consortium Standard

One of the Wi-Fi industry's most closely watched stalemates received a new twist today. Faced with a deadlock between two competing groups and proposals for the shape of an 802.11n protocol standard, TGn Sync and WWiSE agreed to build a combined proposal that would forge a compromise between the two industry associations. However the working group had not yet devised a specification for the combined proposal, when news reached the market last month that four major companies - Broadcom, Intel, Atheros and Marvell, holding the lion's share of the Wi-Fi chipset market - had formed a third camp with the aim of writing a whole new proposal. Now we know that the breakaway group consists not of four companies, but 27, calling themselves the Enhanced Wireless Consortium. Today the EWC released its specification for 802.11n, saying, "By introducing a specification with widespread industry support, the Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC) hopes to speed ratification of an 802.11n st

Camera Phone Market Penetration

According to a recent forecast published by IDC, camera phone shipments in Western Europe are set to reach 179 million units in 2009, to constitute just over 90 percent of total mobile phone shipments. IDC predicts a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent, slightly higher than the growth forecast for the total mobile phone market, with converged devices positioned as multimedia and imaging solutions expected to demonstrate the largest growth during the forecast period. "The integrated digital camera has become the most visible illustration to date of the progress of convergence in the mobile market," said Andrew Brown, program manager of IDC's European Mobile Devices service. "2004 witnessed the proportion of handsets with integrated cameras grow to 70 percent of total Western European mobile phone shipments from just 15 percent in 2003, illustrating the growing importance of imaging from high-end smart phones down to basic midrange and increasingly low-end mobile

IMS Enabling Multimendia Convergence

IMS has quickly become one of the hottest areas in the telecommunications industry. It is a complex topic with profound implications because it is central to the long-term future of telecommunications. IMS stands for IP Multimedia Subsystem, a term coined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for an architecture and associated set of standards for delivery of IP-based multimedia services over 3G wireless networks. It was called a subsystem because it was a part of the overall architecture directions for 3G networks. In-Stat believes that it is more appropriate now to think of IMS as an overall IP Multimedia System that consists of a unified architecture, end-user devices with IP multimedia functionality, and the systems integration necessary to deliver IP multimedia services in the most effective way across wireline and wireless environments. IMS enables wireline/wireless multimedia convergence. The convergence is intended to occur at three levels: 1) convergence of mu

Q205 UK ISP Market Share Results

Point Topic has published market shares for the UK broadband market by ISP, for the end of the second quarter. The data, researched for Point Topic�s continuous UK broadband information service reveals slow but steady declines in share of the overall market for the BT brands and the cable companies, but rising shares for the larger consumer brands -- most notably AOL and Tiscali. BT brands still dominate the market with something around 23 percent, followed by ntl with about 20 percent. AOL edged Telewest into third place at the turn of the year and AOL customers now represent an estimated 14 percent of the total market. In the consumer market, the battle is being fought between two distinct groups of ISPs: BT brands and ntl is the market leading group, though ntl (including both cable and off-net DSL customers) holds the outright lead by a single percentage point. The second group sees four ISPs, AOL, Telewest, Tiscali and Wanadoo, in the running for third place and all have a flat

Analyst Predicts Lightspeed Penetration

An analyst report from Needham & Co. LLC on Sigma Designs Inc. estimated that SBC Communications Inc. could sign up 100,000-200,000 subscribers for its IPTV service in 2006 in a "best-case scenario." Sigma�s chip set, Needham believes, will be used by SBC in its Motorola Inc. and Scientific-Atlanta Inc. set- tops. But in discussing Sigma�s fortune, Needham wrote, "The bad news is that we believe SBC�s Project Lightspeed will be delayed beyond the most pessimistic projections we have seen." Needham projects a mid-2006 launch, at the earliest. "It may be more realistic to expect volume deployments starting in late 2006, as network complexity may drive further delays," Needham said. Needham doesn�t expect SBC to be able to field-test thousands of Sigma/Moto and Sigma/S-A boxes until next June. "The problem is that numerous software vendors� systems need to integrate with each other," Needham said. "Obviously, Microsoft is key, but the mu

Alternative DSL Players Gain in Europe

By the end of the second quarter 2005 the number of broadband subscribers in Europe had exceeded 50 million for the first time, according to latest research into the broadband market by Informa Telecoms & Media. DSL now accounts for more than 80 percent of all broadband subscriptions in Europe. But while growth in the market remains steady, incumbents in Europe�s 10 major European markets saw their share of the retail DSL market drop towards the 50 percent mark. By the end of June 2005, incumbents� market share of the retail DSL market dropped from 64 percent to 57 percent. Over the same period the number of unbundled lines more than doubled from less than 2.5 million to over 6 million indicating a more favourable regulatory environment across Europe and a resulting increased willingness from alternative carriers to install equipment in the incumbent�s exchange. The largest drop in market share was experienced by the Finnish operator TeliaSonera which saw its share of the retail