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Showing posts from December, 2005

The Digital Lifescape Perspective

When I started posting on Blogspot -- more than a year ago -- I really didn't have a name for what began as my experiment in personal publishing, therefore I simply called this site the "David H. Deans Weblog." The events that I've followed led me to post about the global development of broadband access services, the home networking phenomenon, and a growing array of network-ready consumer electronics devices. Then, I started to track the development of digital media, first within the digital home environment, then the content mobility phenomenon and the related wireless-enabled mobile gadget trends. When the notion of a "digital lifestyle" perspective emerged, I immediately related to the broader context of this term -- because it places the consumer experience at the center of the storyline; not the technology, devices or associated network services. IMHO, we should take the next logical step in the discovery process, which is to see these developments

CES Highlighting Human Factors Issues

Dow Jones editorial reminds us of the need for human factors expertise -- The Consumer Electronics Show next week will provide a glimpse of the future in home entertainment, but the new offerings aren't likely to solve the industry's age-old problem: making them easy to set up and use. Products designed to beam movies about the house, download video to cell phones and handheld computers, or dazzle viewers with bright, clear displays will be exhibited in abundance at the four-day trade show in Las Vegas, among the largest in the country. The show will feature mobile devices like portable video players, satellite radios, personal navigation systems and cell phones with a host of converged features, from playing digital music and games to using global positioning satellites. For the living room, manufacturers will unveil high-definition DVDs, larger flat-panel televisions, storage devices to hold movies and music, and connectors to let TVs and personal computers share music and

Intel Transforms into Digital Lifestyle Champ

New York Times tells the story of a strategic transformation -- Intel, the world's biggest chip maker, is breaking away from its longstanding love affair with pure computing power to remake itself as a consumer-friendly brand that will seek to dominate the digital home. Intel's strategy, based on a new generation of multimedia platforms and chips, will be unveiled next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For consumers, the technology shift will mean laptop computers with longer battery life and computers that will become digital entertainment hubs in the living room. When Paul S. Otellini, Intel's chief executive, takes the stage at the show Thursday, he is expected to present a new Intel focused on selling a digital lifestyle rather than hardware. Instead of bits and bytes, Mr. Otellini, the first nonengineer to run Intel, is expected to spend much of his time talking about cool new music and video features that will be made possible by the new home ente

Innovations Design and Engineering Awards

Audiences are constantly being offered a wealth of intriguing and creative new ways to experience entertainment. For the ninth year in a row, the Consumer Electronics Association worked with the Industrial Designers Society of America to determine the cream of the latest crop in 30 different categories. The recipients of Innovations 2006 Design and Engineering Awards will be the center of a special showcase at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show, which begins Thursday in Las Vegas. Two different set-top boxes are among the select few new products chosen as Best of Innovations. One is Leadtek Research's XTP8721, an H.264-based set-top box that can support triple-play technologies including IPTV, video telephony, video streaming, DVD playback, Voice over Internet Protocol, analog voice and Internet access. The other is Scientific-Atlanta's MCP-100 that combines standard and high-definition interactive television, a dual tuner HD-DVR, multiroom DVR, and a DVD player

AT&T Features Oasis, All Around the World

AT&T Inc., anxious to let consumers know it doesn't intend on allowing cable operators to poach its customers without a fight, will break its own marketing spending record in a massive 2006 ad campaign involving TV, online, radio, billboard and print media. The telecommunications giant plans to launch the first national television spot in a yearlong campaign during "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2006" and other TV specials Saturday night. The campaign, which one executive predicted will probably be the biggest from any company in any industry next year, includes a theme song, "All Around the World" by British rock band Oasis, and carries the tagline "Your World. Delivered." "What's great about that line is it's so inclusive, whether you're an online gamer or a C-suite executive," AT&T director of brand advertising Shelley Almager said.

U.S. Film Industry in Turmoil During 2005

"Good Riddance '05, Hollywood's Annus Horribilis" -- that's the bleak headline of the Hollywood Reporter's annual assessment of the U.S. film industry -- Looking back at Hollywood in 2005 it's hard not to say Good Riddance and assess it as Elizabeth II did when she called 1992 an Annus Horribilis after fire nearly destroyed Windsor Castle and scandals rocked the Royal Family. The past year was marked by an almost unending boxoffice slump reflecting not only under-performing movies, but major changes in how Americans seem to feel about movies and moviegoing. 2005 has to have been one of the most stressful periods in modern Hollywood history. Many factors contributed to this, including, of course, the quality -- or, perhaps, the lack of quality -- of many of the films that went into release last year. To some extent, it would be more comforting if it was only a question of quality because then it would be a temporary aberration that could be corrected by g

Media Firm Stock Declines in 2005

Hollywood Reporter laments traditional media's challenging year -- Media stocks should pick up the pace in 2006, many Wall Street analysts said. Considering their performance in 2005, though, it is an easy comparison. Of the major entertainment conglomerates, only Sony Corp. is up for the year. The others have not only fallen but also underperformed -- by a large margin -- the broader indexes. With one more trading day left this year, the newest publicly traded, high-profile movie company, DreamWorks Animation, for example, is off 34.2 percent. The company was dogged by such high expectations for DVD sales of "Shrek 2" that the merely stellar sales numbers resulted in a depressed stock and an informal investigation into the company by federal regulators. The stock has yet to recover. Shares of the Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc. and News Corp. are suffering more than 10 percent drops for the year, while Time Warner Inc. is off 9.6 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average

Thomson New Product Innovation Group

Thomson announced the formation of a 'Thomson-Inventel Advanced Product Development Group' to further reinforce and accelerate the development and deployment of innovative broadband service delivery platforms and home networking solutions to its network operator and Internet Service Provider client base. As networking possibilities expand, network operators need an increasingly broad and sophisticated range of consumer equipment to gain and hold subscribers, and complement their value-added services to expand revenues. To better address existing and, in particular, anticipate future needs, the Thomson-Inventel Advanced Product Development Group will develop cutting-edge broadband service delivery products and solutions for subsequent industrialization and commercialization by the Telecom and Home Networking Business Units of the company. Leveraging the skills responsible for the successful launch of multiple play and fixed-mobile convergence solutions for major European opera

U.S. Album Sales Down, Downloads Up

The Associated Press reports, U.S. album sales were down about 7 percent as 2005 drew to a close, but the budding market for music downloads, which more than doubled over last year, helped narrow the revenue gap, according to figures released Wednesday. Album sales from January through the week ending Dec. 25 stood at 602.2 million, compared with 650.8 million for the same period last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Combined, album and singles sales fell about 8 percent over the same time last year. More than 95 percent of music is sold in CD format. Downloaded tracks from online retailers soared to 332.7 million this year, compared with 134.2 million in 2004, an increase of 148 percent.

Customer Satisfaction Measurement Shift

TMCnet reports, the role of today�s contact center is rapidly shifting. Expected to both support a company�s global business strategy and play an integral part in the overall customer experience, the contact center is becoming a true extension of a company�s brand, no matter its type (inbound versus outbound, internal versus outsourced, onshore versus offshore, support versus sales) or the kind of customers it deals with (internal, external or a blend of both). Yet, the contact center still faces challenges of its own, including high staff attrition, productivity issues and operational cost containment. Performing such a balancing act only ends up putting more pressure on already stretched resources. One way a contact center can deliver and win on all these fronts is to embrace an essential business driver as a key performance indicator: customer satisfaction. Although at first sight, customer satisfaction seems easy to understand, it can actually be difficult to define and sometimes

Online Consumer Holiday Spending Spree

The Goldman, Sachs & Co., Nielsen//NetRatings and Harris Interactive's Holiday eSpending Report revealed today that online holiday shopping totaled $30.1 billion, excluding travel, during the 2005 holiday season. This season's online spending in the U.S. resulted in a 30 percent increase (+/- 3.1 percent margin of error) from the 2004 holiday season. While traditional brick-and-mortar stores continued to hold the majority, or 68 percent of the 2005 holiday spending, it dropped 10 percentage points from the 2002 holiday season, when consumers said they intended to conduct 78 percent of their holiday spending in stores. In contrast, the online sales channel rose 11 percentage points, garnering 27 percent of total budgets this year from 16 percent four years ago. Catalog buying remained steady at five percent this year, compared to six percent in 2002.

Topsizing at Analog Media Companies

Kegan Research reports, when newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst went on overseas shopping binges a century ago, some of his reporters would lose their jobs to offset his lavish spending. Throughout media history, layoffs usually hit the lower echelon the hardest. But in the current round of staff cuts roiling traditional media, the axe is chopping a lot senior managers. In recent weeks, layoffs to reduce overall headcount included the president of Time magazine, station managers at big-city TV stations owned by Tribune Co. and the top executive at trade newspaper Hollywood Reporter. "There is a lot of strong executive talent sitting on the sidelines now and there aren't a lot of senior jobs open," observes executive recruiter Bill Simon, senior client partner in the global entertainment/media practice at Korn/Ferry International. He believes that cuts among senior and mid-level managers will continue for the foreseeable future due to several forces. Media compani

Contemporary Digital Home Favorite

My favorite image from the 2005 showcase homes featured in "Electronic House" magazine -- Form doesn't always follow function -- in this case they complement each other perfectly. PSB's Platinum Series speakers, a flat-screen TV and an open cabinet complete the look of the room's contemporary style.

Interest and Behavior Advertising Online

Forbes reports on the ads around which Google has built its Web empire -- and that Yahoo! and Microsoft yearn to match -- have thus far revolved mostly around searches. But searching is only one of many popular Web-based activities. More and more, content portals and publishers are realizing that they can spoon-feed us ads based on our other online behaviors -- not just search queries -- and get advertisers to pay a premium for the privilege of reaching such specific categories of people. So behavior-based ad targeting is becoming the hot button for Internet media -- a trend, along with its developing technologies, that promises to accelerate into the new year. Dishing out targeted ads based on behavior may be in its early stages, but 2005 showed an awakening among content providers and advertisers. About 15 percent of medium- and large-sized advertisers tried a behavior-based campaign this year, up from 5 percent the year before, according to Harry Wang, an analyst with Parks Associ

CES to Focus on Product Branding

According to AdAge, at next week�s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, attendees will note a bold addition to the technology-packed slate of discussion topics: branding. While mild in comparison to the marketing shindigs held by the soft-drink or consumer-package-goods industries, any talk of branding borders on the cutting edge in an industry where engineering reigns and marketing exists to serve. �There�s been a shifting of brands in the consumer-electronics space, along with a devaluation of traditional brands, and all of the sudden marketing is a hot topic again,� said Michael Gartenberg, analyst with Jupiter Research. New brands making strides through marketing, like Apple�s iPod, along with established brands looking to reassert themselves, like Sony, and a rash of technology innovations have pushed the importance of branding to the forefront of the industry again. The 39-year-old CES has seen the introduction of electronic gadgets from the VCR in 1970 to the plasma T

Sirius Exceeds Subscriber Targets

Sirius Satellite Radio said Tuesday that it already has exceeded its year-end goal of 3 million subscribers, adding about 9,600 new subs each day in the current quarter, an analyst said. Tuesday's announcement helped shares of Sirius and its chief rival to buck a powerful downtrend Tuesday on Wall Street, where the Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average each dropped 1 percent, though Sirius shares were up 2.3 percent and XM Satellite Radio inched down slightly. Sirius said that "it recently surpassed 3 million subscribers and expects a strong year-end." Sirius said it closed out the third quarter with 2.17 million subs.

NY Spitzer Subpoenas Music Companies

According to an Associated Press story, New York State investigators have subpoenaed several major music companies as part of a preliminary inquiry into whether the digital music services have engaged in any illegal price-fixing activity. Darren Dopp, a spokesman for state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, said the office was seeking information on wholesale prices the music labels charge for digital music files that can be downloaded. Dopp said Tuesday that it would take months for the office to launch a full investigation, if one is warranted. Warner Music Group Corp. said in a regulatory filing Friday that the subpoena it received is part of an industrywide investigation. "As disclosed in our public filings, we are cooperating fully with the inquiry," Amanda Collins, a spokeswoman for Warner Music Group, said in a statement. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Vivendi Universal SA's Universal Music Group had also received subp

Gartner's Predictions for the Year Ahead

Here are my selection of key predictions from Gartner that will impact front-line business process optimization, and customer care evolution in the coming year. CRM Marketing Strategies and Technologies Mature In 2006, marketing will be a major area for organizational investment in customer relationship management (CRM). Marketing applications will continue to mature, offering greater functionality, improved analytics, more deployment options and the emergence of service-oriented components. Renewed Interest in Selling Technology The ripple effect of Oracle's acquisition of Siebel Systems, continued on-demand user adoption and a renewed emphasis on e-commerce will be the biggest drivers for sales organizations during the next few years. CSS Will Require Increasingly Close Coordination With IT Investment in business process improvement, wireless-enabled workers and customers, and integrated communications infrastructure will be more critical to customer service and support than p

U.S. Broadband: 2005 Year in Review

CNET reports progress during 2005 -- In the spring, SBC Communications (now AT&T) and Verizon Communications slashed their prices for DSL service to roughly $15 per month, putting broadband on par with traditionally less expensive dial-up pricing. The strategy worked as DSL providers gobbled up market share, narrowing the gap in market share between DSL and cable modem service. Cable operators answered with ultra-fast service, especially in areas where Verizon has been marketing its own ultra-fast product, a fiber-to-the-home service called Fios, which supposedly scales to download speeds of 100mbps. Verizon plans to sell high-speed Internet access, voice service and TV programming over this network. In August 2005, Verizon launched TV service over Fios with its deployment in Keller, Texas. Internet Protocol TV, which will allow for more interactive television viewing, also got some attention in 2005. Cisco Systems' $6.9 billion acquisition of set-top box maker Scientific-Atl

iPod to Drive Apple Earnings Growth

Forbes reports, Goldman Sachs research analyst David C. Bailey maintained an "in-line" rating on Apple Computer but raised earnings estimates for the company, expecting holiday iPod demand and anticipation of upcoming product announcements to continue to drive earnings growth into 2006. "2006 will undoubtedly mark another major year in Apple's transformation, but its new markets bring together tougher competition," wrote the analyst in a recent research note. "If early indications from suppliers prove correct, Apple is likely to move further from its Mac core in 2006, leveraging its brand and building on the consumer success of iPod." Apple shares continue to significantly outpace the market, up 40 percent since the company reported earnings in mid-October. While Bailey would not recommend the stock as more than "a trade into MacWorld" at current levels, he said he would reassess his valuation if Apple announced new products over the next f

China Adds 5 Million Mobile Users

China Mobile and China Unicom announced their November operational statistics on Tuesday, reports Sina. China Mobile added 3.915 million user users in November, of which 115,000 were subscription users and 3.8 million were prepaid users. China Unicom added 1.172 million new users in November, of which 928,000 were GSM users and 244,000 were CDMA users. Through the end of November, China Mobile had 243 million subscribers and China Unicom had 94.12 million GSM subscribers and 32.4 million CDMA subscribers.

Betting on the New Media Growth Engine

Business Week column highlights a key investment trend -- New Media are luring eyeballs and ads, and the market is betting big on Google and Yahoo! More than 220 years ago, when the British surrendered to the colonials at Yorktown, Va., legend says Lord Cornwallis marched out to a tune called The World Turned Upside Down. Today, a media investor knows just how the defeated commander must have felt. Media's collisions and revolutions are upending our notions about which companies and technologies matter in the $1.3 trillion industry. Downloads are transforming the music business, and pay-per-view is looming for movies and cable TV, while advertising is sprinting to the Internet. The media pie is growing faster than the economy, about 7 percent a year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' most recent forecast. But what we spend the money on, and who gets it, is changing enormously. And that means the media world will see plenty of winners and losers. The big losers are likely

Cable TV Wins EOY Viewer Ratings

AdAge reports, the good news for TV networks is that TV viewing is up about 10 percent from five years ago. Better news for cable networks is that they�ve reaped most of that increase in viewing. According to Turner analysis of Nielsen Media Research, while 55 percent of TV viewing is to cable networks, the cable industry only nabbed 31 percent of total prime-time advertising dollars -- a sticking point for many in the cable industry. But among the cable landscape, there are also clear winners and losers. This year was no different, as Turner�s TNT won the crown for viewers 18 to 49, averaging almost 1.2 million in prime time. The network was fueled by a pair of drama series that both ranked in the top three new original cable series for the year for viewers 18 to 49. �The Closer,� starring Kyra Sedgewick,� and �Wanted� with Gary Cole both averaged more than 1.5 million viewers in the demo.

Connect: The Internet Made EZ

Gordon van Zuiden's column in Electronic House magazine offers insights into "Ten simple things you need to know about home networking." He explains to novices the significance of the growing trend for many different types of consumer electronics devices to become TCP/IP-enabled. Read his article here

China Smartphone Market is Growing

Business information company Analysys International says that China's smartphone market will continue growing in the coming years and reach 20 million sets in 2008. The firm's data show that the smartphone market had an annual growth rate of 221 percent in 2004 and an annual growth rate of 207 percent in 2005. Smartphone shipments are expected to reach 7 million sets by the end of 2005. According to Analysys International's further research regarding the growth rate and industry trends, the market will continue growing and the shipment will reach 20 million sets in 2008. Analysys says that this shows China's smart phone is a promising market full of business opportunities. Analysys International thinks that the features of the major four operating systems and seven platforms are key factors to determine the market growth rate and market share in China's smartphone market. Among which, the convenience and speed of the OS, the high integration, low power and low cos

Video Downloads and Portable Players

The emerging video download industry based on portable video players will be a perfect test bed for full-length television shows, according to an analyst from ABI Research. Vamsi Sistla, the firm's director of broadband, digital home and media research, says that we won't be seeing full-length episodes of hit television shows downloaded to portable devices in 2006. Instead, we'll have more of what's available now: "short-form video." These trailers, promos, and mini-episodes are only a few minutes long. But their brevity, according to Sistla, provides a golden opportunity. "The mainstream broadcast model is an extraordinarily expensive way to trial new concepts and shows," he says. "Over 70 percent of all new shows don't survive the first season. The logic of trying short versions on emerging platforms at relatively low cost before committing to the expense of hour-long TV productions will soon be apparent to content owners." For c

DSL Market Trends EOY Assessment

The world installed base of DSL lines grew by over 9 percent in Q3 of 2005 to pass 125 million by 30 September. Point Topic expects that there will be at least 137 million DSL lines by the end of 2005. The Middle East and Africa is now the fastest growing region of the world, adding over 20 percent in Q3. Turkey, Morocco and South Africa all gained over 30 percent in the quarter. Turkey now has over 1 million lines and Morocco has very quickly built a significant installed base of 179,000 lines. Latin America and Eastern Europe are the next most fast-growing regions. In the Americas, Argentina and Mexico are the fastest growing countries, both adding over 17 percent. Brazil has 2.7m lines and gained 14.5 percent in the quarter. In Eastern Europe the fastest growing countries are the Czech Republic and Slovakia, both catching up after a relatively slow start, but most countries grew faster than the world average. South East Asia also showed strong growth at 12.9 percent. India is th

Pay TV Monopoly Erodes in Italy

Sky Italia, the DBS platform owned by Rupert Murdoch-led News Corp., achieved near monopoly status in Italian multichannel TV following a 2003 merger. But now that monopoly is being fractured by new entrants via Internet protocol TV and digital terrestrial TV. In IPTV, a cable TV-like video service delivered via the Internet, the leader is publicly-traded e.Biscom via its FastWeb branded service. There's also telco Telecom Italia's new Alice service. Elsewhere, Mediaset � the leading analog broadcaster controlled by Silvio Berlusconi � is offering pay TV via DTT, which is both a pay and free medium. The DTT pay channels are accessed via special decoder boxes using pre-paid smart cards. Kagan Research forecasts that Sky Italia will bag $1.89 billion in revenue this year, accounting for nearly 95 percent of Italy's multichannel revenue. By 2015, pay DTT and IPTV rivals will cut into that share somewhat, leaving Sky Italia with 84 percent of all multichannel revenue�a still

Texas Expands Lawsuit Against Sony

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott expanded his lawsuit against Sony BMG Music Entertainment, alleging that a second form of anti-piracy technology used by the label violates the state's spyware and deceptive trade practices laws. Abbott sued Sony BMG in November, saying the world's second-largest music label surreptitiously included spyware on millions of CDs through technology known as XCP. That technology, included on 52 Sony BMG titles, could leave computers vulnerable to hackers, he said. "We keep discovering additional methods Sony used to deceive Texas consumers who thought they were simply buying music," Abbott said in a statement. Abbott said MediaMax violates Texas law because some versions secretly install files when the CD is inserted into a computer, before the consumer has a chance to accept or decline a license agreement. The files can lead to the security breach. Sony BMG misleads consumers by saying no files will be installed if the agreement is re

On-Demand Mass Consumption Cycle

Adweek reports -- This year proved to be a tipping point of sorts, as convenience has morphed into full-blown "on-demand" entitlement. It's nothing short of a technological revolution that has enabled ordinary Americans to seize ever greater control of how, when and where they consume and create media content. "Consumers are now in control of content: We're consuming it, retransmitting it, creating it," says Rishad Tobaccowala, chief innovation officer at Publicis Groupe Media, who credits the shift to "plummeting hardware prices, elegant software that's become easy to use and access to an incredible amount of content." In what is still mostly a chaotic rush into the unknown, marketers remain largely on the fringe. There was a 25-year lag between when network TV reached mass consumption and when ad dollars caught up. It took 15 years for cable. After 10 years, is the same about to occur for the Internet? The indications are good: At year'

Nielsen Will Offer DVR Ratings Set

As ad buyers and sellers debate the impact of digital video recording on the value of commercials, they will start to get new data on the phenomenon next week from Nielsen Media Research. As part of its national daily report, the ratings company said it would start issuing two new sets of program data, in addition to the existing ratings for real-time viewing. On December 28, Nielsen will issue the first new ratings set, which adds same-day program playbacks. On January 17, Nielsen plans to issue a second ratings set, which adds seven-day program playbacks (The company said its research shows that on average 90 percent of all played-back DVR viewing occurs within a week after a show has been recorded). While this initial DVR viewing data will likely fuel the debate, industry experts said it is unlikely to be used to buy and sell ads, because Nielsen will only include 60 DVR homes in its 9,000 home national ratings sample � less than 1 percent of the estimated 7 million DVR homes in t

U.S. Broadband Market Assessment

Red Herring reports -- While the number of subscribers signing up for DSL broadband services in the United States continues to outpace the number of new subscribers for cable broadband services, cable operators continue to hold a shrinking but significant lead over the hard-charging telecommunications carriers. Leichtman Research Group, a research firm based in Durham, New Hampshire, issued a report on that said the 20 largest broadband providers in the United States acquired a record 2.6 million net additional subscribers in the third quarter of 2005. The top DSL providers added 1.42 million subscribers, representing 54 percent of the net broadband additions for the quarter, while cable providers added 1.2 million subscribers. With the 1.42 million new subscribers, DSL providers set a new all-time record, according to Leichtman. The total number of new subscribers for DSL service in the corresponding quarter in 2004 was 379,000 fewer. Cable�s 1.2 million new subscribers were about 8

Launch IPTV First, then Regulate Later

South Korea should launch IP television services despite lagging on regulatory structure, according to Information and Communication Minister Chin Dae-je. "In other countries, IPTV operators can start business by simply reporting to authorities, but in South Korea it is quite difficult. We need to let IPTV start first and then consider how to regulate the new convergence service," he told reporters, worried that the ministry's latest pet project might face further delays. Initial launch plans were stymied earlier this year amid strong opposition by cable operators, which face the prospect of telecom carriers taking them on in the video stakes. "Unlike in other countries, IPTV in South Korea is subject to broadcasting law. Each stakeholder has to try to find common ground and get the new service off the ground," Chin said, suggesting that regulatory issues might be resolved by calling IP television "Internet media," brushing aside questions of it bein

Satellite TV Sows Seeds For Recovery

Direct broadcast satellite platforms are the latest old media to be perceived as vulnerable in the digital revolution. Share prices of DIRECTV and EchoStar Communications (DISH) are off sharply in recent months. But investor concerns seem overblown because the two DBS platforms are still growing and are well along with plans to address weaknesses. Kagan Research newsletter Digital Televisionforecasts the DBS sector controlled by these two giants will swell to 35.5 milllion subscribers in the U.S. by 2015. That represents a 2.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), a solid performance given growing competition. To give skeptics their due, that CAGR would be a sharp de-acceleration of headcount growth as the multichannel marketplace gets increasingly saturated. But what the doomsters often overlook is that the base of TV households is expanding. Kagan puts TVHH growth at about 1.3 percent per year over the next decade. Both DBS platforms are well advanced in introducing national

Traffic to Fastest Growing Web Brands

Nielsen//NetRatings announced the fastest growing Web sites among the top 10 Web brands for November 2005. Apple ranked number one according to year-over-year growth in November 2005, climbing 57 percent over November last year, driven by traffic to the increasingly popular iTunes. Google and Amazon also saw significant year-over-year increases, growing 29 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Longtime leader Yahoo! attracted the largest unique audience, garnering nearly 104 million unique visitors during the month, and growing ten percent year-over-year. �Among the top Web brands, fierce competition for share of online visitors continues to be a catalyst for the launch of new products and features,� said Gerry Davidson, senior media analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. �These additions appear to be spearheading much of the top Web brand growth, because they keep visitors interested and engaged,� he continued. Nielsen//NetRatings also released the fastest growing Web brands for November 20

Double Digit PC Market Growth in 2006

The appeal of low-cost and portable PCs will continue to drive double-digit growth of the personal computer market in 2006, despite fewer PC replacements and slower economic growth, according to the latest forecast from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Following third quarter growth of more than 17 percent year on year, worldwide PC shipments are now expected to grow by nearly 15 percent in the fourth quarter, boosting annual growth a half point ahead of the 15.3 percent rate in 2004 to 15.8 percent in 2005 and raising the outlook for growth in 2006 to 10.5 percent. Although growth is still expected to slow in the months ahead, the recent strength of the overall market, and particularly in portable PC adoption, has contributed to rising expectations in all major regions except Japan. "Following the shocks of 2001 and 2002 many people were impressed with the strength of the market in 2004 but cautious about the foundation and longevity of this growth," said Loren Lo

Business Week Global 1200 Dinosaurs

Business Week reports, "amid the rapid technological and economic shifts of our hypercompetitive world, here's a surprise: The top multinationals remain amazingly stable. Eight of the 10 companies that head up BusinessWeek's Global 1200, a ranking of corporations worldwide by stock market value, are the same ones that made the top 10 last year." In contrast, regarding the telecom sector, BW has the following opinion. "The big land-line telcos are losing appeal. Decliners included Australia's Telstra, Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ ) of the U.S. and Europe's ex-monopolies, Telecom Italia (TI ), France Telecom (FTE ), Deutsche Telekom (DT ), and Spain's Telef�nica (TEF ). The message: traditional land-line voice service is going the way of the dinosaur. Most of the telcos that moved up in our ranking are mobile operators such as Britain's O2 and Am�rica M�vil (AMX ) -- the mobile telephone giant controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim rose

StimTVcinema to Launch in Q1 2006

NPOWR Digital Media says that it has finalized a series of promotional and marketing content deals with several major Hollywood studios, and that it plans to launch a second stimTV channel, stimTVcinema, in the first quarter of next year. stimTVcinema will have a similar format to stimTV music. It will present viewers with a random stream of seven-second video clips of movie trailers, celebrity interviews, director commentary, behind-the-scenes footage and other film-related content -- when viewers see a clip that interests them, they will be able to click on it to view the full piece of content from which the clip is taken. The channel will also offer personalization features: its underlying technology (for which NPOWR has obtained a patent) will use viewers' choices to tailor its streams more to their interests the next time they access them. In addition, viewers will have the option of creating an anonymous profile that will enable the service to further customize the video wi

TV Guide Mobile for Wireless Devices

EPG developer, Gemstar-TV Guide, has teamed with mobile media company, Handmark, on a TV listings and content service for Palm handhelds, Treo smartphones, and Windows Mobile pocket PC's and smartphones. Dubbed "TV Guide Mobile" and available through an annual or monthly subscription, the new service offers: * Access to TV Guide daily local TV listings. * The ability to search TVGuide.com's "Big Movie Guide" database (contains 40,000 movie reviews) and its "Show Guide" database (contains episode synopses and other information on around 600 current and past TV series). * The ability to conduct searches by title, genre or celebrity. * Customization features that allow users to receive information only about their favorite channels, shows or celebrities. * Hollywood news, gossip and commentary from TVGuide.com, including such regular features as "Ask Ausiello," "Insider," "The Biz," "Ask Matt," "Roush Revi

BBC Extends Broadband TV Trial

The BBC has announced a two-month extension of the ongoing 5,000 user trial of its integrated Media Player (iMP), a technology which will enable a broadband programming catch-up service that will offer TV and radio programs for seven days after their initial linear broadcast (the trial began in September). The extension means that trial participants will have access to the iMP until February 28th. The Corporation says that the extension will allow it to gather more reliable data on user needs and on how people use the service: "We really want to understand the benefits that iMP can bring to our audiences," the BBC's Internet controller, Tony Ageh, explained. "We know that there is likely to be a 'honeymoon' period of a few weeks, when our participants are likely to use iMP more often than normal. The data from the extra two months should really help us to comprehend what users want from the service and how they are using it. This will be invaluable for us in

Google, Microsoft and Sun Fund RAD Lab

Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems will provide $7.5 million over five years to fund research at the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed systems laboratory, or the RAD Lab, at the University of California, Berkeley. The National Science Foundation, the UC Discovery and the Microelectronics Innovation and the Computer Research Opportunities (MICRO) programs are also providing funding. RAD Lab researchers will focus on developing alternatives to traditional software engineering, which follows a "waterfall" model of development. Instead of infrequent, well-tested upgrades, code for Internet services is continually being modified on the fly as the product is scaled up to accommodate millions of users. The lab's founders say this fix-it-as-you-go feedback loop enables speedier deployment, but it also requires a large technical support staff to make sure operations are not disrupted as bugs are resolved. "Our goal is to create technology that will enable individual in

Acquisitions in the Set-Top Box Market

A rash of mergers, acquisitions and partnerships among makers of set-top boxes and network equipment vendors is redrawing the map for the STB industry, according to a new study from ABI Research. First Cisco announced its intent to purchase Scientific-Atlanta. Then in rapid succession Alcatel increased its stake in 2Wire, Siemens concluded a partnership agreement with Entone, and Thomson announced its intent to purchase Thales. According to Michael Arden, ABI Research's principal analyst of residential entertainment technologies, this trend marks a sharp turning point in the structure of the industry. In telco TVs initial phases, he says, the makers of STBs and related CPE strictly guarded their independence and supported operators' wishes for the security of a diverse vendor base. "Players in the market had a fear of the way the cable TV industry looks today in the US with a virtual duopoly dominated by Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola," Arden say. But in light o

APAC Wireless Location Services Market

Location-based services (LBS) may finally realize its potential in the Asia/Pacific region in the upcoming five years, reports In-Stat. LBS has been labelled "the next big thing," and has been the subject of aggressive revenue projections by industry insiders, however, it has yet to materialize in a big way, the high-tech market research firm says. "Slower-than-expected implementation of more accurate location determination technologies (LDTs), consumer privacy concerns, and operators focused on the deployment of other proven mobile data services have hampered LBS in the region," says Bryan Wang, In-Stat analyst. "One factor that is not lacking, however, is consumer interest in LBS." In-Stat found the following: - In 2004, Asia registered LBS revenue of US$353.0 million, and the market is expected to reach US$771.9 million by 2010. - A recent In-Stat survey found that 88.5 percent out of 916 Japanese wireless users, and 99.5 percent out of 940 South K

BT Interactive Advertising on Broadband

Andrew Burke, the chief executive of the BT Entertainment division is quoted by New Media Age as saying that he would be disappointed if their broadband television service did not significantly push forward the interactive television advertising market in the next 18 months. He goes on to say that the ability to mix broadcast adverts with broadband interactivity should not be underestimated, and that he expects broadcasters and programming creators to take advantage of the always-on return channel to enhance their existing programming. According to the report, the telecommunications company is seeking to recruit a commercial team to support the service, which is due to launch in the second half of 2006. Possible interactive advertising formats could include click-to-call, enabling users to press a button on their remote control to be directly connected to an advertiser via the phone, rather than having to dial a number on screen.

Mobile ESPN MVNO Signs Advertisers

The Walt Disney Co's ESPN said that it has reached advertising agreements with six major corporations for its soon-to-be launched Mobile ESPN wireless phone service for sports fans. The cable sports network has signed year-long agreements with Cisco Systems Inc, Molson Coors Brewing Co, General Motors, Hilton Hotels Corp., Nike Inc. and Visa. The sponsorships start February 5, the day Mobile ESPN becomes nationally available. Each corporate logo will appear on the phones on animated billboards, banner ads and on scoreboard and columnist pages as well as the trivia-and-polls page SportsNation. The service now can be ordered online and will be widely available through Best Buy stores in February.

Time Shift Transforms into Place Shift

According to a Dow Jones News story, a new software tool from TiVo Inc. could cause the maker of digital video recorders to run afoul of Hollywood. Unveiled last month, the software allows TiVo Series2 subscribers to transfer television shows from their TiVo units to Apple Computer Inc. new video iPod music player. To a large extent, much of the recording issue was settled 20 years ago in the Sony versus Universal case, in which studios complained people were using Betamax videotape players to record television shows. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that recording shows constituted "fair use" under copyright laws. Now, the broadcasters will have to establish that 'place-shift' is somehow different than 'time-shifting' -- or that taking a recording from one device to another falls outside the Betamax decision, and that's a tough sell.

Holiday Consumer Electronics Upside

Many high-tech holiday shoppers are bypassing bargain bins in favor of high-end electronics. Revenue from holiday sales of personal electronics is expected to rise 9 percent over last year, says the Consumer Electronics Association. �Computers The average price of a PC jumped 11 percent during the first week of the holiday season from a year ago, says researcher Current Analysis. That compared with a 3 percent decline in 2004. Shoppers are splurging for laptops, which usually cost more than desktops, says Current Analysis analyst Samir Bhavnani. �Video game systems. Microsoft's new Xbox 360, which comes in $300 and $400 models, appears to be a hit. Although Microsoft hasn't released sales figures, many stores sold out shortly after it launched on November 22. The Xbox 360 was the No. 1 search last week on Shopping.com, a shopping website. Also in the top 10 searches: Sony's PlayStation Portable ($250). �Music players. Apple recently released two digital music players: th

Neuf Cegetel Offers Free International Calls

The French telecoms marketplace is one of the most competitive -- Neuf Cegetel, France's second-largest fixed-line telecommunications operator, said Friday that it's offering free international phone calls, following Iliad SA's move Thursday. The enhanced offer underscores the efforts telecom operators are making to stem the erosion of their client base in the face of competition from free Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone offers from companies like Skype. In an emailed statement, Neuf Cegetel said it would offer free international calls from France to anywhere in the European Union, North America, India and China beginning December 25. The offer also includes free calls to cell phones in North America. Neuf Cegetel said the offer is valid for its fully unbundled subscribers, or those who don't pay incumbent France Telecom for their home phone line.

RSS Ads Better than Banner Adverts

Users receiving RSS feeds are much more likely to click on feed advertising than regular Web ads, according to a new study. Pheedo, a San Francisco company that helps publishers put ads in their Really Simple Syndication feeds, found that RSS ads received a 3.2 percent to 8 percent click-through rate during a study of traffic during the fall. Banner ads typically receive a click rate of less than 1 percent. The best-performing RSS placements, Pheedo found, were stand-alone ads that represented the entire post, rather than embedded ads placed below editorial content. Standalone ads were clicked 8 percent, compared to .85 percent for the embedded approach. Pheedo said the highest RSS ad click rates were gained by placing ads in every other post, a tactic it found three times more effective than one ad per post.

The Broadband Blocking Phenomenon

Business Week reports on a troubling new trend -- The Internet has always been a model of freedom. Today the Web is flourishing because anyone can click to any site or download any service they want on an open network. But now the phone and cable companies that operate broadband networks have a different vision. If they get their way, today's Information Highway could be laden with tollgates, express lanes, and traffic tie-ups -- all designed to make money for the network companies. BLOCKED OUT: Doug Herring, 48, got a glimpse of that specter last November. Traveling on business in Tennessee, the General Electric (GE) sales manager phoned his wife at their Elberta (Ala.) home. Herring had just signed up with Web-phone provider Vonage Holdings and was pleased with the service. But this time, he couldn't get through. He switched Web-phone providers, but still couldn't make calls. Frustrated, Herring contacted Madison River Communications, the rural phone company that provid

Google to Invest $1 Billion in AOL

According to the New York Times -- Rebuffing aggressive overtures from Microsoft, Time Warner has agreed to sell a 5 percent stake in America Online (AOL) to Google for $1 billion as part of an expanded partnership between AOL, once the dominant company on the Internet, and Google, the current online king. While the deal terms are largely set, it will not be final until it is ratified by the Time Warner board on Tuesday, according to an executive who was briefed on the negotiations. The executive said negotiations between the three companies reached a fevered pitch on Thursday night when teams from Google and Microsoft were in separate rooms of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan and executives from the media company walked back and forth between them. The deal helps Google fend off what could have been a significant challenge from a combination of AOL and Microsoft and cements its position as far and away the largest seller of search advertising.

Home Gateway Initiative Close to Specs

The carrier-led Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) is close to releasing specifications that, it hopes, will enable vendors to deliver targeted and affordable products that match service providers' needs. According to the group's CTO, Telecom Italia SpA executive Paolo Pastorino, a full set of technical specs will be ready by the end of this year. The HGI's members are holding a plenary meeting later this week in Bordeaux, France, to review draft proposals that were issued in October. The specifications are set to cover a wide range of technology requirements and guidelines, including: * remote management functions for efficient home gateway setup and troubleshooting; * remote management functions to enable the automated provisioning and activation of services and the devices that communicate with the gateway; * QOS (quality of service) management functionality, with a particular focus on enabling customers to manage their own QOS levels, and the need to map WAN QOS onto the

Worldwide Telecom Industry Forecast

The global telecommunications industry revenue will reach $1.2 trillion by the close of 2006, with continued strong growth in wireless communications leading the way, says a new market analysis report from Insight Research. According to the new industry study, wireless revenue will approach almost 49 percent of all telecommunications services revenue by the close of 2006 and will grow to 55.6 percent of all telecommunications industry revenue by 2010. By the beginning of 2006, over 1.8 billion subscribers worldwide will be depending on mobile wireless telephones. As stated in the study, worldwide telecommunications services revenue is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 5.9 percent from 2005 through 2010, which reflects the level of sustainable growth enjoyed by the telecom segment prior to the technology bubble of the late 1990s. While the first part of the decade was brutal for the telecommunications industry, the study predicts that worldwide telecom industry serv

HomePlug Powerline Product Milestones

There are more than sixty different products embedded with HomePlug 1.0 technology, including new offerings from Intellon, NComputing, NETGEAR, Sling Media and Telenet. Earlier this year, the HomePlug Alliance surpassed its three millionth HomePlug powerline communications product shipped. Additional milestones in 2005 from the HomePlug Alliance include: * Approved the HomePlug AV specification - the fastest and most robust and secure industry standard for powerline communication targeting digital entertainment home networking; * Commenced the next stage of the Alliance's efforts to develop a specification for an advanced command and control technology, known as HomePlug Command & Control (HPCC); * Developed a co-existence solution that allows multiple powerline communications technologies to share the same wire, while maintaining transmission speeds, QoS and a favorable user experience. * New members of the board of directors include representatives from Cisco-Linksys, GE Se

DSL Forum Issues Three Technical Reports

Following a meeting in Munich earlier this month, the DSL Forum published three new Technical Reports (TR): * TR-102 -- Service Interface Protocol: Dynamic IP-centric Network Policy -- provides a standard set of system interfaces that allows service providers to define the flow of information for real time fulfillment of IP based services such as VoIP, video conferencing and additional bandwidth on demand. The DSL Forum said the adoption of this set of interfaces and information flows will enhance the ability of network architectures to deliver multiple, end-to-end services and applications over broadband DSL. * TR-111 -- Applying TR-069 to Remote Management Of Home Networked Devices -- applies the remote activation protocol TR-069 through the gateway to home-networked devices such as VoIP phones, media set-top boxes and gaming console systems. * TR-113 -- Multiple Carrier Modulation (MCM) Specific Managed Objects in VDSL Network Element -- can be used by customer premises equipment

Video Services Key Growth Area for 2006

According to Parks Associates, video services will be a significant area of growth in 2006, and technologies that match this content with trends toward personalization and interactivity will be important precursors to the future of digital services. "At 2006 International CES, people should definitely look for solutions that enable new and unique on-demand content services," said Harry Wang, analyst at Parks Associates. "The technologies that fulfill the service requirements for the new standards in interactivity will see a lot of success in 2006." Over the next few years, video-on-demand (VOD) will become the service differentiator for U.S. carriers, and by 2009, the average video revenue per subscriber will be $163 per month, up from $87 per month in 2005, according to Parks Associates. "Some major service providers will unveil IPTV services in 2006," said John Barrett, director of research for Parks Associates. "IPTV providers will further inten

Human Factors Affect on PDA Demand

The latest Wireless Enterprise Strategies service report from Strategy Analytics, affirms that business PDA users represent a prime segment which mobile operators and OEMs should actively identify and target for wireless solution sales. Device set-up, email synchronization and content creation must be dramatically reengineered. Cliff Raskind, Director of the Wireless Enterprise Strategies service commented, "When mobile operators survey their base of business customers, PDA users potentially represent a dream segment of users that is tailor-made for upselling many wireless data solutions enabled by next generation networks. While over half of the PDA users remain unconnected beyond simple text messaging, operators, device OEMs and solutions providers have failed to bridge a number of critical performance deficits relating to set-up and ease of use." David Kerr, Vice President of the Global Wireless Practice, noted, "PDA users spend more on mobility, experience much gr

Voice Competition in US Wireless Market

The latest Wireless Network Strategies service report from Strategy Analytics, "Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking Q3 2005," highlights increasing signs of weakness in the US wireless voice market, with average revenues per user (ARPUs) for voice services dropping 8 percent year and data services failing to make up the gap. This quarterly report provides a health check for the wireless operator community, tracking the operational and financial performance of 61 individual operators, accounting for more than 60 percent of global wireless subscribers. Despite strong subscriber and revenue growth in emerging markets, the US wireless market is starting to be hindered by increasing weakness in the voice market. "The last two quarters have seen US wireless voice metrics move to a new rate of decline," comments Phil Kendall, Director Global Wireless Practice and author of the report. "The decline in per-minute voice revenues continues, with rates slipping

SMS to Remain Key Revenue Driver

Despite growth in enhanced messaging services over the next five years, SMS will remain a key revenue driver for the messaging market globally. This is one of the findings of Mobile Messaging - 2005, a new strategic report from Informa Telecoms & Media, which brings together the latest research and current market information from around the world. The report also analyses the current position and future prospects for a range of enhanced messaging options such as multimedia messaging (MMS), mobile email and instant messaging (IM). Across all these sectors, person to person (P2P) messaging will continue to represent the main sector of the business, but application to person (A2P) and interactive messaging will become increasingly important as new services such as mobile marketing and delivery of rich content come on stream. 'We believe the messaging market has great potential' says Dan Winterbottom - one of the report's authors - 'with total revenues approaching $1

New Hope for 802.11n Wi-Fi Standard

The Enhanced Wireless Consortium indicated last month that its proposals for the draft 802.11n standard are now substantially aligned with the work of the IEEE's working group. This is good news for most of the stakeholders in the process. ABI Research has reported on this process before, most notably when a group of companies led by Intel formed the EWC, apparently in opposition to the groups (TGn Sync and WWiSE) responsible for the so-called "joint proposal" for the new standard. When EWC was formed, observers suggested it was a spoiling action aimed at Airgo, the innovative chipmaker whose MIMO designs � never claimed as "pre-n" � were already in wide use. Some also feared that the new group would create a stalemate with the IEEE standards working group. ABI Research disagreed that this development would derail the process. The just released update to its comprehensive "Wi-Fi Research Service" notes, "While this has led to media reports sugg

Portable Music and Media Players

We�ll be seeing a lot more headphones in the next three months, according to a survey of consumer household technology purchase intentions by Ipsos Insight. Almost a quarter of respondents (22 percent) anticipate buying a portable MP3 player or lower-storage Apple iPod Shuffle or iPod Nano (to use primarily for music) in the next three months, and 14 percent are interested in buying a portable multimedia device, such as the 30GB or 60GB iPod, Sony PSP, Creative Zen, or iRiver devices. For the fourth consecutive year, Ipsos Insight surveyed a nationally representative sample of 511 U.S. adults as they head into the holiday shopping season to determine their likelihood of buying specific electronics over the next three months. �The portable music device category exploded this year, with interest in MP3 players up 9 percent over last year�s survey. In addition, it spun off an entirely new category�portable multimedia devices�which captured the purchase interest of 14 percent of consumer

China Overtakes U.S. as IT Supplier

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), China has overtaken the U.S. as the world's largest exporter of IT products like computers, laptops, mobile phones and digital cameras. China's IT-export market grew by 46 percent to more than $180 billion last year -- about $26 billion more than the U.S. (China's figures would have been even larger had the report included data on goods shipped through Hong Kong). The OECD also found that IT imports into Asia from Europe and the U.S. were on the decline. "To manufacture laptops and advanced mobile phones, China previously relied on electronic components such as computer chips imported from the EU and U.S.," the OECD said. "These are now also being increasingly sourced from other Asian countries."

Consumer Media Hub Purchase Habits

Reflecting a still-developing market, online Americans prefer to buy media hubs � devices that move music, photos, and video via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi from any PC to a home stereo or TV � in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. The finding comes from an independent study conducted by Ipsos Insight among 2,369 online Americans to explore consumer adoption of emerging, home-based media management products that bring together multiple electronic and entertainment devices in the home and connect them to the Internet. The study also indicates that, despite the intent to buy at brick-and-mortar stores, consumers will use the Internet as their primary source of information about media hubs � also known as media servers or media streamers � before making a purchase. The implications to media hub manufacturers and retailers are enormous. Companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Dell � the preferred media hub providers among Americans � will ship more units if they partner with retailers in addit

Womens 2005 Holiday Technology Shopping

WITI (Women In Technology International) and IDC released the findings of its 2005 holiday survey. The market study reveals that nearly 80 percent of female respondents plan on purchasing technology gifts this year � with digital cameras, iPods, and iPod accessories representing the must-have gifts of the season. "A surprisingly high 63 percent of women polled will do the bulk of their 2005 holiday shopping in December," said Seana Dowling, research director, Quantitative Research Group at IDC. "This indicates a great opportunity for last-minute marketers to strongly target female purchasers with their holiday marketing campaigns. Additionally, we saw that seven out of the top 10 technology gifts were portable technologies � signifying a movement for women to integrate technology tools in their daily lives." When polled "Who in your household has made or will make the majority of the holiday gift purchases," women represented more than 26 percent of the

AOL at Twenty Starts Second Act

The online service helped trigger the original Internet boom, and a new approach aims to do it all over again -- "There are no second acts in American lives," F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, but even he would have to marvel at the curtain raiser on America Online's second act. Founded in 1985, AOL was a pioneer of the Internet, vaulting to spectacular heights only to plummet to an equally astounding low Twenty years later, the firm has reinvented itself as an Internet portal and is reaping the rewards of its brand name, a dual revenue stream and two decades of experience. The new package is compelling enough to have attracted serious interest from third-party investors. During the past few months, AOL has been sequestered in backroom meetings trying to hammer out a deal with one of several suitors, among which the front-runners seem to be Google and Microsoft. Interestingly, the one-time black sheep of the Time Warner family might just be the little engine that could re

Blueprint for Next-Gen Residential Gateways

Texas Instruments unveiled its UR8 architecture -- its eighth generation of DSL silicon and the foundation for a full family of next residential gateway designed for Triple Play. Key features include an open platform, integrated voice capabilities and advanced multimedia processing over all DSL standards. The UR8 architecture comprises an advanced multimedia processor, a programmable DSL PHY, a high-performance DSP-based voice sub-system and a rich set of standard interfaces. Delivering on TI's Uni-DSL vision, the common platform could be used for ADSL2+ or VDSL2 gateways. The high-performance DSP supports up to four channels of wireline or wireless voice. In addition, the programmable voice subsystem allows manufacturers to leverage TI's extensive voice codec library and Telogy Software for VoIP, including wideband codecs, wireline and wireless codecs, and advanced features such as fax and modem relay, packet-loss minimization and noise-reducing algorithms. The advanced mult

Broadband Policy Could Benefit Seniors

The New Millennium Research Council reports, "America is getting on the broadband wagon. According to the most recent estimates, at least one in three U.S. households now has a broadband connection to the Internet, or one that is always-on and that receives and sends data at far faster speeds than are available through dial-up telephone service. There is wide agreement that broadband will provide enormous benefits to users and to the entire economy, especially as the take-up rate increases. But so far, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential benefits to be reaped by different groups within American society and how this in turn will generate economic benefits and cost savings over time. It will not surprise many to know that the young � who typically are among the first to adopt many new technologies � have benefited and will continue to benefit greatly from the use of broadband. But it turns out that broadband technologies also hold great promise for a differe

Research Predicts Slow U.S. IPTV Growth

IMS Research forecasts that the worldwide IPTV market will grow to just over 27 million households by the end of the decade. This growth will be primarily driven by Europe and Asia, with particular contributions from Western Europe and China. As a region, Western Europe is expected to lead the worldwide IPTV market through the end of the decade, with approximately 12.9 million households by 2010. The region�s strong expected collective growth is due to continued success in existing IPTV markets such as France, Italy, Sweden, and the UK, as well as to anticipated take-up in newer markets such as Austria, Spain, Switzerland, and other countries. China is expected to become the world�s largest national IPTV market, with 3.58 million IPTV households by 2010, comprising 13.2 percent of the total worldwide market. This number is smaller than earlier estimations, according to Paul Erickson, research analyst at IMS Research. �The strong growth that the industry was expecting at this time fro

Broadband Access Equipment Forecast

Research joint venture Ovum-RHK has produced a new Broadband Access Equipment forecast, covering broadband access service demand, and DSL, Cable modem, and Fiber to the Premises equipment demand. It suggests that the total market will be worth $13.7 billion in 2006, split between network equipment (53 percent) and customer premises equipment (47 percent). Ovum-RHK says that DSL will maintain a leading 70 percent share of network equipment in 2006, with CMTS and FTTP splitting the remaining share 15 percent each). Western Europe remains the largest regional market throughout the forecast period, whilst China and India will overtake the Asia-Pacific region as the second largest regional market by 2010. The overall market is predicted to continue growing at 7 percent CAGR through to 2010. "Ovum-RHK expects a robust market for broadband access equipment, driven by close to 20 percent annual growth in broadband subscribers through 2010, " said Ken Twist, VP of Broadband Network

Residential Gateway CPE Forecast

A major increase in worldwide broadband subscribers, along with the hot popularity of wireless- and VoIP-enabled equipment, is resulting in Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) market growth of nearly 20 percent in 2005, reports In-Stat. The broadband CPE market, composed of devices that primarily include modem and home-networking functionality, is transitioning from being dominated by modems toward a heavier focus on gateways. "Broadband service providers are behind this transition, as they believe that it is necessary to deliver more advanced services. This transition will enable service providers to provide a back-end managed home network and add opportunities for additional revenue," says Joyce Putscher, In-Stat analyst. In-Stat found the following: - Many consumers are attempting to save on their phone bill by trying out several flavors of VoIP, which is boosting the market for VoIP-enabled CPE. - The move from two-box solutions, such as modem/router combinations, to on