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Showing posts from April, 2007

Notebook PC Sales Driving EMEA Momentum

Driven by continuing demand for portable systems across the region, PC sales in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) outpaced expectations in the first quarter of the year, according to preliminary data released by IDC. Total PC shipments rose 13.2 percent compared with the first quarter last year, reaching 19.4 million units, with notebook sales recording a solid 34.3 percent year on year. Desktop shipments remained flat compared with last year, but unabated demand for Portables, particularly in the Consumer segment and in CEMA, boosted overall growth. Market leaders HP and Acer continued to gain share with Toshiba, Packard Bell, and Asus also registering strong growth. Dell continued to suffer from slower corporate demand and retail competition in the consumer space while Fujitsu Siemens and Lenovo shipments increased but trailed the market. "Booming notebook sales across the entire region continued to act as the primary growth driver for most vendors," said Karine Paol

Re-Imagine Cisco: the Human Network Voice

As you may recall, Cisco recently created a microsite to feature their new campaign that re-positions the traditional networking equipment company as they expand and evolve their business model. The website already includes some interesting content, and I hope that they continue what they have started. The site's introduction says "When we're all connected, great things happen. Join us and see how life on the network is changing life as we know it." However, most of the content on the site is highly polished storytelling which applies the predictable voice of professionally edited marketing communications. I believe that it's ironic, because this campaign strategy is really a legacy marketing approach that's used to describe a unique and unconventional phenomenon -- ordinary people using communications and digital media composition tools without the intervention of professional journalists, videographers or PR spin-doctors. The idea behind the site has the po

EMEA Telecoms Carrier Capex Forecast

Capital expenditures of telecom service providers in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region totaled 59.2 billion euros in 2006, up 7 percent from 2005, and are projected to increase 8 percent to 63.8 billion euros in 2010, according to Infonetics Research. "Major incumbents and large service providers in the EMEA region have made it clear that capex will be allocated only to projects that have been identified as revenue growth engines, and all public service providers continue to keep an eye on cash flow," said Infonetics analyst Stephane Teral. "Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom accounted for about a quarter of all EMEA carrier capex in 2006 -- a 2 billion euro increase over 2005. Both companies are coping with fierce competition in their home turf and have to invest in new broadband-based infrastructures and new types of services such as FMC to respond to the competition," Teral added. Overall, EMEA players acknowledge the tough competitive situation

Combining Video in Business Communication

For several years, the capabilities of software that's used for arranging, editing and publishing video content has enabled many budding auteurs to perfect their professional art form. Now the same essential application software is empowering novice consumers to experiment with storytelling that utilizes digital media. Most people with Windows-based computers have their first experience editing digital video by utilizing the Windows Movie Maker (WMM) software that was bundled with Windows XP. While the application is considered a very rudimentary video composition and editing tool, WMM is quite capable -- considering the minimum RAM requirement is 128MB. As most people discover -- myself included -- after creating a few video projects with WMM you start to feel a little constrained by the limited functionality. In particular, the lack of color balancing and correction means that whatever you import into the software had better be perfect for your needs. Titling and text insertion

Digital Music Distribution Around the Home

In-Stat recently surveyed home network users, and asked them about various current uses and activities that they were interested in but not currently doing. They found that about 44 percent were interested in streaming digital music from a computer or network storage over their home network to a traditional analog stereo system in another room that was not directly connected to their computer. In-Stat also found that there were many reasons why those home network owners were not using their network in this manner. These reasons included: - They have not had the time to convert their music library to digital. - They have no interest, as they only listen to the radio or listen to CDs. - They listen to digital music with speakers attached to their personal computer. - They prefer to use a portable digital music player. - They listen to digital music with a portable music player in a docking station. - They believe it's too complicated, or there are known quality issues. The most popul

Device Previously Known as a Mobile Phone

Strategy Analytics finds that a quagmire of regulatory delays is hampering Mobile TV spectrum availability in Europe, as described in its recent report. That one problem will hold back the DVB-H adoption over the next two to three years. "These regulatory delays, combined with the success of ISDB-T in Japan, the momentum of DMB services in Korea, the commitment of the two largest operators in the U.S. to using MediaFLO, and the rising chorus of support for MBMS in 3GPP2 will create a much more fragmented mid-term for mobile TV adoption globally," states Chris Ambrosio, Director in the Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics. "With regard to music adoption, the next challenge is for device vendors to find a way to push music into mid-tier price points without negatively impacting usability," states Bonny Joy, Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "Sony Ericsson and Samsung have the advantage in marketing these entertainment features alongside strong consumer electronic

UK Policymakers Consider Spectrum Options

Recent Strategy Analytics research forecasts that 90 percent of UK homes will be watching High Definition TV by 2020, as long as Ofcom allocates spectrum on the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform for HDTV. Without HD on DTT, a mere 60 percent of homes would be watching HDTV by 2020. Their report suggests that the decision on HD-DTT is closely tied to overall policy on the future of public service broadcasting (PSB), and that the availability of HD-DTT is necessary to ensure that PSB does not become unduly weakened relative to pay and commercial television services. There is currently a fierce debate in the UK on the proposed allocation of available broadcast spectrum after analogue television is switched off. Broadcasters, such as the BBC and Channel Four, have argued strongly for capacity for HDTV on DTT, but other industry groups are expected to push for emerging services such as wireless broadband. "The Ofcom and the UK government decisions on HD-DTT over the next fe

Social Network and Video Sites are Surging

comScore Media Metrix released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at top online properties and categories for March 2007. Among the significant changes seen during the month was a shift at the top of the Ad Focus ranking, with Yahoo! jumping one spot to claim the number two position, as remained in the lead. "Shifts at the top of our Ad Focus ranking come at an interesting time with Google's recent announcement that it would be acquiring Doubleclick," said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. "As advertising networks continue to compete for online ad dollars, there is sure to be increased attention on which ones are reaching the widest audience." Finally, several key players in the social networking space experienced gains in March. One of the top-gaining social networking sites in March was, which surged 25 percent -- and eight spots in the Top 50 ranking -- to nearly 21 million vis

Quest for a Mobile Phone that's Truly Usable

Mobile phone service providers will make approximately $10.7 billion worldwide through the sales of private branded handsets in 2007, almost 23 percent more than the $8.7 billion earned in 2006. A number of factors including handset delivery delays, greater customization needs, increasing demand for low-cost handsets, and the growing importance of emerging markets are prompting operators to choose private branded handsets. According to ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey, "In the past, private branded handsets have mostly been high-end feature phones and smartphones supplied to operators by the likes of HTC, Sharp, and Quanta." "Now, however, the growing demand for low-cost and ultra-low-cost handsets means that operators also have opportunities to provide private branded handsets in this segment. They can partner with selected local manufacturers who will be able to address the low-cost market by avoiding import costs and benefiting from the skill sets and c

WiMAX Trend Drives Semiconductor Demand

Fixed WiMAX IC vendors have recently re-directed their energies towards Mobile WiMAX, particularly in the second half of 2006 and into 2007, according to a new market study from In-Stat. This represents a dramatic change, as the overwhelming majority of 2005 and 2006 WiMAX chipsets were Fixed WiMAX (802.16d) compliant, with a very small percentage in 2006 representing chipsets used in early WiBro (mobile WiMAX-based) devices. "Fujitsu, Intel, Sequans and Wavesat were the Fixed WiMAX baseband market leaders in 2005 and 2006 -- all have since shifted their focus to Mobile WiMAX," says Gemma Tedesco, In-Stat analyst. "In addition, Fixed WiMAX radio providers Sierra Monolithics and Analog Devices have announced Mobile WiMAX solutions." In-Stat's market research found the following: - The global WiMAX chipset market will reach approximately 21 million units in 2011, growing from 300,000 chipset units in 2006. - Intel, the marketing heart and soul of WiMAX technology,

Assessing the Digital Music Market Reality

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics Digital Media Strategies service, the global online music market will grow 62 percent this year, to reach $2.7 billion, and will ramp to over $6.6 billion in 2011. Strategy Analytics believes that while the U.S. represented almost three quarters of the global market in 2006, the U.S. share of the market will have been reduced to less than half by 2011. "The recent move by EMI and Apple to drop DRM from premium tracks will produce a temperate increase in single track download revenues in the short to medium term," comments Martin Olausson, Director of Strategy Analytics Digital Media Strategies service. "However, long term revenue growth will come from hybrid subscription based services." "The music labels are finally starting to see digital sales having a positive impact on the bottom line," adds David Mercer, VP and Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "This year will likely be the turning

Cameras in Mobile Phones Reach Milestone

M:Metrics announced a milestone in the mobile phone services industry, as the number of camera-phone owners climbed to 106 million in the United States, crossing the 50 percent threshold. Camera-phones are even more ubiquitous in European markets, led by the United Kingdom where three out of every four mobile subscribers own a camera-phone. M:Metrics reports that the proliferation of this technology is driving a decline of one of the first sources of mobile entertainment revenue: the sale of wallpapers and phone graphics, as increasing numbers of people personalize their phone with photos taken on the mobile device. "While a camera-phone in the pocket of most mobile phone owners may have picked the proverbial pockets of graphics publishers, the penetration of this technology has a positive impact on operator data revenues overall as consumers increasingly purchase photo messaging bundles," said Mark Donovan, senior vice president and senior analyst, M:Metrics. Despite a slack

Global Growth Forecast for Wi-Fi Hotspots

ABI Research forecasts that in 2007, worldwide Wi-Fi hotspots will grow by nearly 25 percent, to 179,500. While almost three-quarters of these sites (72 percent) are still found in North America and Europe, the Asia Pacific region is growing very rapidly. Growth in China has been much slower than originally thought. Still, the Asia Pacific region will come close to matching the number of North American hotspots by 2012. In fact, I recall that South Korea was an early global market leader in Wi-Fi hotspot deployments, long before the U.S. market developed momentum. Europe remains the global market leader with over 70,000 hotspots. One major driver of Wi-Fi wireless access is retail establishments. McDonalds is making rapid progress in turning its 4,000 locations into hotspots. "The growing Wi-Fi hotspot market is fueling a demand for Wi-Fi access points," says ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt. "More than 900,000 access points will be shipped this year specifically

Asia-Pacific PC Market First Quarter Results

The IDC preliminary results show that the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market totaled 12.7 million units in the first quarter of 2007, representing a 2 percent sequential decline and an 18 percent year-on-year growth. Total 1Q07 shipments for the region came in 3 percent higher than IDC's initial forecasts. The seasonal decline was expected due to the Lunar New Year holidays across the region in February. "As expected, the launch of Windows Vista did not necessarily create any major inflection point in the growth of the PC market. But we’re still looking at a rather healthy momentum in the region, especially with notebooks fueling the fire," said Bryan Ma, Director of Asia/Pacific Personal Systems Research at IDC. "Smaller emerging markets in the region represent pockets of opportunity too. The aggregate of the Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh PC markets is expected to grow about 20 percent this year off a 2006 base of just under one million units." Ther

Insights from Early Adopters of U.S. Mobile TV

comScore released the results of a study analyzing American's usage of, and attitudes toward, Mobile TV, which is defined as television watched via a mobile phone device -- either live or on-demand programming. The study, based on a survey of more than 2,000 mobile phone users, revealed that nearly two out of three Mobile TV subscribers are male and that nearly half are below the age of 35. Also included in the study are insights about consumer behavior and attitudes toward Mobile TV, including information on product awareness, programming content, and key purchase motivators. An analysis of American's usage of, and attitudes toward, Mobile TV by demographic segment revealed a higher level of interest and acceptance among younger adults and males. Forty-six percent of those who currently subscribe to Mobile TV are below the age of 35 and 65 percent are male. Males were also more likely than average to be interested in Mobile TV, while females were more likely to report being

Cable MSO Telephony Services Still Gaining

Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has proven to be the key market enabler for cable telephony services and subscriber growth, according to In-Stat. Generally less expensive to provision than more traditional circuit-switched telephony, the increasing availability of VoIP services in North America was directly responsible for an almost two-fold increase in the number of North American subscribers during 2006. "In a growing number of markets around the world, cable TV operators consider telephony service to be an integral part of their telecommunications service bundle," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "This has led to increasing service availability in North America, Europe, and in a few countries in Asia." In-Stat's study found the following: - Worldwide cable telephony subscribers increased to over 22 million in 2006, up sharply from 15.8 million in 2005. - Cable telephony service revenues are also growing at a rapid pace and are projected to r

New Growth in Telecom & Datacom Equipment

Sales of service provider and enterprise telecom and datacom equipment topped $123 billion worldwide in 2006, up 9 percent from 2005, and is forecast to grow 20 percent to $148 billion in 2010, according to Infonetics Research. Once again, Asia-Pacific will be the market to watch. Their latest report, "Service Provider and Enterprise Telecom and Datacom Equipment," highlights the 5-year compound annual growth rates for all segments range from flat to strong double digits from 2006 to 2010 -- with the IPTV, VoIP and IMS equipment markets showing the most growth. "The spending increase in the overall telecom and datacom equipment market is being fueled by service providers upgrading from TDM to IP packet networks to support voice, video, and data, as well as enterprises transforming their networks to integrate data, multimedia, and security," said Infonetics Research analyst Jeff Wilson. Infonetics report other highlights include: - The IPTV equipment market will d

Evolving the Value Creation of Mobile Providers

The worldwide mobile phone market demonstrated continued growth during the first quarter of 2007. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 256.4 million units, a year-on-year increase of 10 percent for the first quarter of 2007. However, the shipments were 13.8 percent lower than the record shipments in the previous quarter. That said, the decline was expected owing to the seasonality of the sector. The first quarter of 2007 marks the onset of slower growth in the mobile phone market -- a significant change from the growth exhibited each quarter during all of 2006. Year on year growth during each of those quarters topped 20 percent, significantly higher than the 10 percent growth posted at the start of 2007. This reflects IDC's expectation that as more subscribers are added to the network, fewer new subscribers are left to be added. Consequently, mobile phone shipments increasingly move from being new handsets for first-time users to replace

Upside of Unified Communications Solutions

Many businesses today view their technology infrastructure as an enabling platform that allows them to meet or exceed customer service requirements and as a competitive differential that allows them to have an advantage in their marketplace. Evidently, business decision makers agree with this thought because in a study conducted by Harris Interactive they indicated customer service (54 percent) and upgrade of current infrastructure (47 percent) were the leading categories for technology investment in the months ahead. Considering that investments in sales and marketing, production and efficiency (39 percent) also made the list, it is safe to say that a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure is important to the future of many organizations. These are just some of the results of the new study, which were presented through Harris Interactive’s latest technology research webinar. Harris Interactive fields ongoing studies on a range of topical issues within the technology industry and p

Ascension of the Asia-Pacific IP-STB Vendors

The latest release of ABI Research's set-top box (STB) research report shows that Samsung, Coship and other Chinese and South Korean STB vendors collectively account for over 55 percent of the Asia-Pacific STB market, which is growing faster, in terms of subscribers, than the rest of the world. Moreover, they are using their growing clout and market share to address overseas markets. New in this edition of the study is a regional breakdown of STB market share for various video platforms. Principal analyst Michael Arden says, "We are seeing more Chinese vendors gaining market share, and not only because of the growth in the domestic market for IPTV, digital cable and satellite there. They are also getting some traction outside their home market, as are South Korean manufacturers, particularly in the IP-STB sector." Samsung, Arden notes, has done "a pretty good job of getting into North America and other markets; the South Koreans are really positioning themselves to g

Creative Way to Launch TV on a Mobile Phone

TelecomTV reports that if you want to witness how a mobile phone service provider can think outside the box of conventional wisdom, then you'll have to go to the UK and see for yourself how "3" has distinguished itself from the rest of the market players. There has been lots of publicity about the potential of TV on mobile handsets, and this week the British market has an innovation from Hutchinson 3G UK -- the country's first 3G network operator -- which launched an enhanced version of its TV news and entertainment content, now subsidized by advertising. The TV service offering is unique. 3 subscribers wanting to use the free advertiser-supported service must first access a screen on their mobile device that requires them to input personal details such as age, sex, interests, etc. -- a profile of their lifestyle and interests -- so that the advertising they will watch before and after the mobile TV content can be targeted , and thereby highly relevant to the indivi

Apple iPhone Buzz Reveals Marketing Savvy

The iPhone is a new device that has the potential to turn the mobile phone world on its ear, and with the Apple product expected to be available this June, Harris Interactive recently took a quick pulse of American adults to determine their awareness. Although iPhone is not yet a household word, 47 percent of respondents were aware of the product and a full 17 percent expressed interest in purchasing it, which makes for a pretty loud buzz from consumers for a product that isn't yet available. I wonder, does any competitor doubt Apple's marketing savvy, or their compelling approach to product launches? Perhaps a more interesting question to ask is when U.S. adults would buy this product. Of those expressing interest to purchase, nine percent say they would buy at product launch and another eight percent would buy before their current wireless service contract expired. About 17 percent say they would wait for their current wireless contract to expire before purchasing, and 25 per

HDTV Use Will Limit Potential of DSL for IPTV

The latest MPEG video coding standard -- called MPEG-4 Part 10, or Advanced Video Coding (AVC) -- is said to revolutionize the IPTV market by reducing the bandwidth required to deliver video, but uncertainty remains about the ability of DSL to compete effectively against cable and satellite TV as service providers move to high-definition (HD) video, according to the latest report from Light Reading. "MPEG-4 AVC has already made SD and HDTV possible for some IPTV customers, and further improvements in the use of compression tools should make delivery of HD IPTV a possibility for many more," notes Simon Sherrington, research analyst for Light Reading Insider and author of the report. "However, beyond the areas in which fiber has been deployed to or close to the customer, IPTV services offering concurrent high-speed Internet, HDTV, and second-channel viewing or recording to a DVR will remain out of reach for most households. Telecom operators will be competing to supply ad

Few Call Centers Considered Strategic Assets

Are contact- or call-centers perceived by their senior management as strategic assets to their businesses and, therefore, a high priority when it comes to investment in growth and capabilities upgrades? A recent survey by InfoTrack found that only 42 percent of contact center respondents have an explicit objective to be perceived by corporate management as a strategic asset. However, within that 42 percent, 20 percent said their senior management believes investments in their contact centers are strongly aligned with the strategic objectives of the business --and 65 percent said investments are reasonably or strongly aligned. The message is that for those centers actively pursuing this as an objective, they are making good progress. That said, the problem is that fewer than half of all contact centers are even trying to achieve this objective. Given the projects that I've previously worked on with clients, I'm not at all surprised by these findings. When asked about the impact

Broadband Internet Access Market Saturation

While dial-up access to the Internet continues its slow decline globally, the number of Internet adults utilizing wired broadband connections may also be peaking, according to results released by Ipsos Insight. No matter, there's still lots of upside potential in China and India. At the end of 2006, it is estimated that over three-quarters (77 percent) of the global online population was utilizing a broadband connection to access the Internet, in comparison to just 21 percent utilizing a dial-up connection. And though the prevalence of broadband access continued its steady growth trend through 2006, growing an additional seven percentage-points from 2005 (70 percent), the days of robust annual growth for broadband penetration may soon be coming to an end. The latest findings from "The Face of the Web 2006" -- based on interviews in 12 key global markets with more than 6,553 adults, including 3,798 active Internet users at the end of last year -- reflect the adoption possi

Independently Produced Low-Budget Content

Lawsuits, acquisitions, and experimentation are now the tools being used to craft the User Generated Content (UGC) landscape, and even with all that has transpired, we still only have an unfinished foreground in place, according to an In-Stat market study. Business models continue to adapt and change, as do experimentations with advertising, making the overall landscape of this market appear to be as dynamic as a feather in the wind, the high-tech market research firm says. "Three companies in particular have and will likely continue to make headlines: Google, YouTube, and Viacom," says Michael Inouye, In-Stat analyst. "The U.S. continues to be the market leader and will be for the foreseeable future," he says. The In-Stat report is entitled "User-Generated Content: How About Just Content?" which reminds me of why it's time to drop the whole user generated rhetoric, because it doesn't describe the meaningful phenomenon within the marketplace. Inde

High Definition TV Upside in European Homes

European sales of high definition TV (HDTV) and video devices will surge by 158 percent this year, reaching 28.1 million units, according to the latest research from the Strategy Analytics. By 2012, 70 percent of European homes will own at least one HD-capable TV, up from 8 percent in 2006. Most HDTV buyers will also purchase a high definition set-top box, disc player, games console or digital media player. "Europe's high definition TV transition is well under way," says David Mercer, Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "European consumers are beginning to buy HD-capable devices in huge quantities and there is a terrific opportunity for content providers and distributors to meet the growing desire for HD programming." This report compares adoption forecast models across a number of emerging high definition device segments, and concludes that by 2012, 44 percent of European homes will own HDTV receivers, in the form of set-top boxes and integrated digital TV

Social Networks Search for a Business Model

Even though online communities and social network web sites have experienced stellar growth in recent years, In-Stat reports that their future remains somewhat uncertain. The high tech market research firm sees both membership and monetization as key issues for social networking sites -- while this is a phenomenon that's here to stay, only sites that can overcome these issues will survive. "In order for a social networking site to be successful, it must attain a critical mass, and competition is fierce to attract new members." says Jill Meyers, an Analyst with In-Stat. "So far, sites have focused their attention on a younger demographic, which is finite, fickle and limited in expendable income." Recent In-Stat research finds that the biggest American generation, the baby boomers, is frequently overlooked. Site operators are still struggling to find profitable business models. In a recent survey, when asked if they had plans to purchase premium services online,

Web Analytics is Dependent Upon Valid Data

Can you trust the data that's used in your Web site analytics? comScore released the results of a study analyzing the validity of using cookie-based data to measure the number of unique visitors to individual Web sites or to gauge the number of unique users that were served an advertisement by an ad server. The study, based on an analysis of 400,000 home PCs included in comScore's U.S. sample during December 2006, examined both first-party and third-party cookies. A cookie is a very small text file inserted on a user's computer by a Web server and is unique to that computer's web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer or Firefox). Cookies are often used by Web servers to identify users and for authenticating, tracking and maintaining specific information about users. First-party cookies are those left on a computer by a Web site that has been visited, while third-party cookies are those left by a domain different than the site being visited, such as an advertising server that

Networked Home Audio and Video is Evolving

A new study from ABI Research shows that as more consumers shift from storing their music collections on physical media to storing them on PCs, network drives or consumer electronics servers, the demand to deliver this music to other connected devices around the home will grow. While the Zune and other Wi-Fi-enabled portable devices are early in their adoption phase, ABI Research believes that a significant factor contributing to the growth of this market will be network-based sharing, and synchronization between the network portable music market and the network home audio market. "Early entrants into this market that have provided user-friendly systems, such as Sonos, have enjoyed loyal but small clienteles for their products," says research director Michael Wolf. "However, the entire profile of connected entertainment received a significant boost when Apple went beyond a single networked audio solution (Airport Express) to the release of the much more capable Apple TV.

DTV Standard for Mobile & Handheld Services

While most of the attention regarding the emerging market for mobile TV and other related multimedia applications tends to be directed at mobile phone service providers, other groups are preparing their strategic plans to address the U.S. market opportunity. The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has launched the process to develop a standard that will enable broadcasters to deliver digital television content and data to mobile and handheld devices via their DTV broadcast signal. "The ATSC-M/H Standard will facilitate broadcasters use of their DTV broadcast channels to provide new services directly to small hand-held receivers, notebook computers and vehicles moving at a high rate of speed," said ATSC President Mark Richer. "ATSC-M/H will be backwards compatible, allowing operation of existing ATSC services in the same RF channel without an adverse impact on existing receiving equipment." Network broadcasters will be able to allocate a portion of their 19.

Digital Media Storage and Archiving Evolves

In consumer and professional fields the demand for storage continues to skyrocket, and new research carried out by Understanding & Solutions looks at the removable storage market, the future opportunities and the challenges ahead for the competing formats. In the consumer arena, optical media solutions such as traditional CD and DVD are becoming unsuitable for high volume storage requirements, as capacities fall short of many user's requirements. "We're already seeing a migration from optical disc to hard disk devices such as PVRs and Media Center PCs, with DVD recording becoming a more occasional function." says David Millar, Business Director at Understanding & Solutions. "However, these devices commonly use fixed hard drives which have a finite storage capacity. There's still a need for users to archive the content, which requires that it be copied to a removable medium, which, ironically, tends to be optical disc." But optical discs are evolv

North American Carrier Status Quo Investment

North American service provider's capital expenditures totaled $68.6 billion in 2006, up 8 percent from 2005, and are projected to increase 12 percent to $76.7 billion in 2010, according to a new report from Infonetics Research. The report, also shows that despite strong M&A activity among telcos like Verizon, MCI, AT&T, BellSouth, and Cingular that created several months of investment disruption, RBOCs, Canadian ILECs, and cable MSOs increased their capex in 2006, and intend to increase it again through at least 2009 to sustain their major projects. The third year of the new investment cycle identified previously is now starting, and is expected to plateau in 2009 or 2010. The service provider landscape that has emerged in North America is dominated by two giant telcos, AT&T and Verizon, and a cluster of powerful cable MSOs such as Cox, Time Warner, and Comcast. "As everyone is finally starting to enter everyone else's turf -- telcos are offering IPTV, cable

Wireless USB is Coming to a PC Near You

After two years of promises, and a few false starts, it finally looks like Wireless USB products will hit the market in 2007, according to an In-Stat market study. The first products to arrive by the middle of this year should be dongle and wireless hub pairs that will bring standardized wireless connectivity to notebook and desktop PCs, PC peripherals, and consumer electronics. As with wired USB, PCs will adopt Wireless USB first, before the technology spreads out to the rest of the PC ecosystem. Wireless USB, or more properly Certified Wireless USB, is a standard that was approved and is governed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the same body responsible for Wired USB. Certified Wireless USB is based on the WiMedia version of Ultrawideband (UWB). WiMedia's UWB flavor is in turn based on multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM), which allows for frequency-hopping to avoid interference with other wireless protocols within UWB wide frequency

Prediction that Spam Will Diminish E-Mail Use

According to a newly published IDC study, a resurgence of spam and the increased frequency of being replaced by text messaging and voice over IP (VoIP) calling, especially among younger consumers and workers, will make it more difficult for email to maintain its status as the leading mission-critical electronic communications method. IDC predicts that nearly 97 billion emails, over 40 billion of which will be spam messages, will be sent daily worldwide in 2007. This is the first year that spam email volumes are expected to exceed person-to-person email volumes sent worldwide. "Spam volumes are growing faster than expected due to the success of image-based spam in bypassing antispam filters and of email sender identity spoofing in getting higher response rates," said Mark Levitt, program vice president for IDC's Collaborative Computing and Enterprise Workplace research. "Instant messaging, joined by free and low-cost VoIP calling, will result in slower email growth,

Wireless Now Built-in to Consumer Electronics

As the market for consumer electronics (CE) devices incorporating Wi-Fi begins to gain real traction, yet another -- based upon 3G cellular technologies or mobile WiMAX -- is just starting to take shape. According to a new study from ABI Research, portable consumer electronics -- digital cameras, media players, portable game devices, and more -- are beginning to offer direct mobile broadband connections to the Internet. By 2012, annual shipments of such devices are expected to approach 50 million. "In the near term, connected portable devices will rely more on 3G cellular connections," says principal analyst Philip Solis. "However, the 3G market is fragmented: there is EV-DO, there is HSPA; different carriers are using different frequencies in different regions of the world. Such fragmentation represents a significant challenge. In addition, such devices must compete against smartphones that increasingly include similar functions." The first few products have alread