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Showing posts from July, 2007

Asian Global Broadband Leadership Assured

Worldwide broadband subscriptions will exceed 536 million by 2011, with DSL representing over half of the market. Fiber (FTTx) and WiMax will be among the fastest growing access technologies in the next fibe years, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics. "Ambitious fiber rollouts in the U.S. by Verizon and AT&T, and in Europe by French operator Free, will bring overall FTT(x) subscriptions to 64 million by 2011," says Ben Piper, Director of the Strategy Analytics Broadband Network Strategies Service. That said, it should be duly noted that fiber to the home in the U.S. is barely at one percent market penetration today, and so carriers such as Verizon and AT&T have a long road ahead as they attempt to catch up with the Asia-Pacific and European market leaders. Broadband Service revenues will surpass $150 billion in 2011, with Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America (Canada, in particular) leading the way. This represents a 13 percent CAGR from 2007 through 201

Mobile Phone Multimedia Accessory Market

You may be surprised to learn that the market for mobile phone accessories will generate over $32 billion in revenues in 2007 -- of which more than half will come from accessories that support multimedia features in handsets. This growth includes mobile phone accessories such as audio headsets, memory cards, and data connection kits. According to ABI Research industry analyst Shailendra Pandey, "Expanding multimedia features in handsets are the most important factor contributing to the growth of the mobile phone accessories market." The popularity of handsets with music playback features is resulting in strong demand for stereo earphones and headsets. Audio and video playback capabilities have resulted in users wanting to store an increasing number of media files on their mobile phones, contributing to the growth of memory card sales. Also, the need for connecting the mobile phone to a desktop PC or laptop computer -- for transferring multimedia and data files -- means a grow

Big Media Clings to Restrictive DRM Models

The recent "DRM-free" music tracks that were announced by Apple and do not herald the death of Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions on digital media, according to In-Stat's latest market assessment. Instead, the DRM-free model will likely be viewed as a music industry-only experiment -- albeit one that will be closely monitored to see if a viable business model emerges, the high-tech market research firm says. "The amount of digital content flowing over telecommunications networks is enormous and growing," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "Much of this content is already protected by some type of DRM or content protection scheme. As the creation of digital content expands, it is fueling demand for more DRM solutions and content protection technologies." I also believe that the big media companies will cling to their DRM security blankets for the near-term -- until they can overcome their fear of free-wheeling digital media formats

Sky Provides Video Downloads to Sony PSP

Informitv reports that Sky, the UK satellite pay-TV service provider, has announced a joint venture with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe to develop a download service for the PSP portable games player. The new initiative will allow more than 2 million PlayStation Portable (PSP) owners in the United Kingdom and Ireland to download videos and TV related content to their handheld devices. Due to launch in early 2008, it will be the first official PSP video download service in Europe. The platform will offer programming spanning sports, entertainment, movies, music and animation from both Sky and third-party channel partners. Videos will be downloadable to the PSP either directly through a wireless internet link or through a connection to a personal computer. Programs will be made available on a pay-per-view subscription basis. "Sky and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have complementary strengths in content, marketing and technology," said James Murdoch the chief executive

User Experience Design for Mobile Gadgets

The global mobile phone handset market is about to undergo a major change during the next five years, providing handset vendors and component suppliers with opportunities to reshape consumers' understanding of mobile devices, mobile computing, and mobile connectivity, according to an In-Stat market study. Four key factors that the high tech market research firm expects to shape handsets in the coming five years include the trailblazing Apple iPhone; alternative wireless networks, such as Wi-Fi and WiMAX; mobile video and television applications; and more corporate account subscriptions. "These influences will have a powerful effect on the design of mobile devices, as well as the semiconductors and applications used in them," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst. I believe that the future direction of "integrated media" apps on mobile devices will be significantly influenced by user experience and user interface designers that apply ethnographic research techn

Ten Telecom Trends in Asia-Pacific Region

Pyramid Research, at its second annual Asia-Pacific Telecom Summit, presented 10 key trends that will take place in the Asia-Pacific telecom sector during 2008. 1. Subscriber growth -- Indonesia's broadband market will have the highest growth rate in Asia at 45 perccent per year for the next five years, leading the region's subscriber growth. China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan will hold 80 percent of Asia's mobile subscribers in 2012, when regional subscriptions total 2.2 billion. Expect higher churn, less revenue, and consolidation in 2008 in developed markets. Low ARPUs will facilitate a transition to IMS. 2. Mobile data -- Asia-Pacific mobile data revenues will almost triple over the next five years to $110 billion, but increased broadband penetration and flat-rate plans will create significant threats to this growth. The mobile data market will grow, but the spending per user will start to decrease as broadband becomes more available in emerging markets. 3. Mobile a

Growth of Presence-Based Telecom Services

The worldwide market for presence-based telecom services, including Instant Messaging (IM) and Push-to-Talk (PTT), is expected to reach nearly $23 billion in 2007 as an ever increasing number of mobile and wireline carriers provide customized services predicated upon the availability of their customers. According to a new market research study from The Insight Research Corporation, presence-based telecommunication services such as IM and PTT are wildly popular in Asian countries. Carrier revenue from usage of presence-based services in Asia-Pacific markets is nearly double North American revenue. Insight Research's market analysis study, entitled "Presence Based Services Market 2007-2011," notes that presence-based services are part of a worldwide push by carriers to create new IP-enabled services for consumers and business subscribers. The study notes that consumers of mobile and fixed line telecommunications services are adopting presence based services along with othe

Nintendo Drives U.S. Gaming Market Growth

According to NPD Group's latest market study, Nintendo was responsible for 69 percent of U.S. game industry growth in the first five months of 2007. Nintendo has also found a way to reach coveted female gamers. Excluding Nintendo, U.S. gamers are 80/20 split male/female. Nintendo gamers are 67 percent male and 33 percent female. In Wii households 66 percent of those aged 25-49 play the console regularly. And about 50 percent of men 50 or older have tried the Wii. Portables are driving much of today's game growth. As an example, 70 percent of U.S. spending on video games in 2002 was for console hardware and games, 30 percent for portables. In 2006, it was a 50/50 split. Nintendo's DS handheld is responsible for the lion's share of that portable spending. Game spending by Nintendo buyers is skewing older in the U.S. as well. Traditionally a bastion for young gamers, sales for Nintendo products in North and South America in 2005 was 28 percent by those 25 or o

New Demand for Multimedia Mobiles in China

China's multimedia phone market experienced rapid development in 2006 in terms of available models and total shipments, according to the latest In-Stat market study. The music playback function was the biggest driver to the growth of the multimedia phone market in China last year, the high-tech market research firm says. "In-Stat's latest survey shows that camera capability is an under-served function for China's phone users, which suggests there is still plenty of room for market growth," says Raymond Yan, In-Stat analyst. "Future drivers for the multimedia phone market will stem from content availability, continuous improvements in semiconductor solutions, higher data rate wireless technologies, and the combination between mobile phones and web 2.0 networks." I believe that ultimately the Chinese multimedia phone market will eventually overshadow many of the other developing and developed markets within the Asia-Pacific region. The rapid market develop

comScore Tool Enables Better Segmentation

comScore, Inc. introduced their "comScore Segment Metrix," a new tool that works with a variety of consumer segmentation schemes to give marketers the ability to track, analyze and report Internet activity by consumer groups. The product will provide the flexibility to integrate behaviorally defined segments, geo-demographic segments, and proprietary, client defined segments with the comScore online panel. The first segmentation to be offered is one defined by online behavior. This approach, called comScore Segment Metrix H/M/L, will allow marketers to analyze online activity by heavy, medium and light users of the Internet and of any category of sites reported by comScore. The Heavy segment group will be defined as the top 20 percent of consumers, based on time spent online at the category of sites; the Medium group will be defined as the middle 30 percent; and the Light users are the lightest 50 percent. H/M/L user segments will be available in all 32 countries where comS

Nokia Leads Dual-Mode Wi-Fi Phone Sales

Worldwide WiFi phone revenue, though up significantly in 2006, fell 8 percent to $5 billion in 1Q07, according to the latest Infonetics Research market study. However, it's projected to post strong double-digit growth every year through 2010, when it will top $145 billion, as WiFi is incorporated into a growing range of mobile phones. Enterprises are ramping up adoption of WiFi phones, driven by increased use of wireless LANs and IP PBX technology, while consumers are adopting WiFi phones because of their increasing adoption of broadband connections with wireless and VoIP-enabled customer premise equipment (CPE). At the same time, operators are launching dual-mode fixed mobile convergence (FMC) services, which will also drive further adoption of WiFi phones. Infonetics report tracks GSM, W-CDMA, CDMA, and CDMA-2000 mobile phones, smartphones and OS, single mode WiFi VoIP phones split by enterprise vs. consumer, and dual-mode WiFi/cellular handsets split by dual-service vs. seamless

Blu-ray DVD Predicted as Leading Standard

As consumers continue to embrace more high-definition (HD) consumer electronics (CE) products and services, next-generation DVD players are poised to experience significant growth over the next five years, according to the latest market study by Parks Associates. The new report estimates that, with set-top box models and game consoles combined, more than 32 million Blu-ray and HD DVD players will be sold in United States by 2011, an 85 percent increase from the 4.9 million units estimated to be sold in 2007. "Purchasing or renting DVDs will continue to be a dominant way for consumers to view content," stated Chris Roden, Research Analyst at Parks Associates. "What has yet to be determined is which format will become the standard, HD DVD or Blu-ray?" According to the report, consumer confusion or a general lack of awareness is still prevalent -- with less than 10 percent of mainstream U.S. consumers stating that they are familiar with the HD DVD or Blu-ray formats. &

Consumer Media Evolving onto Smartphones

Global sales of mobile phones, including smartphones, dropped 13 percent to $35.5 billion in the first quarter of 2007 following a seasonally strong pre-Christmas quarter in 4Q06, according to the Infonetics Research latest study entitled "Mobile and WiFi Phones and Subscribers." In the long term, mobile phone unit shipments are forecast to increase due to growth in developing countries, while revenue is forecast to decrease as the cost of basic units sold in those markets continues to fall and competition in developed and saturated markets continues to increase, the report says. "To date, smartphone purchasers have been largely business power-users, but the launch of Apple's iPhone and Samsung's BlackJack media-playing smartphones -- that appeal to consumers -- is giving the segment a boost, and could change the dynamics of the mobile phone market. Vendors will design more consumer-oriented smartphones, and cause fierce competition among incumbent players,&quo

How to Harness the Internet TV Opportunity

Internet TV advertising could achieve revenues of up to $10 billion worldwide by 2011, according to a new industry report from Understanding & Solutions (U&S). This equates to 18 percent of the Internet advertising market for that year, forecast at $57 billion. Delivery of television content over the Internet is nothing new, with a whole host of websites across the globe already providing hundreds of free (advertiser supported) TV channels -- some of which are pirated or re-transmitted without permission from the video content source. However, U&S believes that there is an Internet TV gold-rush in progress, as mainstream broadcasters, cable networks and TV content producers move their content online alongside a new raft of Webcasters (Internet Video and TV aggregators) like Joost, Vudu and Babelgum. "The level of penetration already achieved by Internet video is mind-blowing," says John Bird, Principal Consultant with Understanding & Solutions. "Globally,

Comparing Apple iPhone to the Nokia N95

Strategy Analytics says that they have conducted the first end-user evaluation of the much heralded Apple iPhone with its panel of multimedia buyers in Boston, MA. Their latest Wireless Device Laboratory report entitled "Nokia N95 and Apple iPhone Set New Standards for Multimedia Devices," reveals that although the iPhone has the "cool" factor and outperforms all other multimedia devices tested, the Nokia N95 likewise provides exceptional multimedia performance in a mobile device form factor. Paul Brown, Senior Analyst in their User Experience Practice, comments, "The iPhone has raised the bar in terms of navigation, menu logic and overall multimedia consumption experience. Thus, the iPhone generally lives up to its hype." Brown adds "The Nokia N95 also offers an exceptional multimedia experience with better features than the iPhone, but it suffers from Nokia's traditional lack of industrial design expertise and weak brand image in the U.S. market

Why the 700Mhz Wireless Spectrum is Valued

With 3G adoption, smartphones, and mobile data usage on the rise, apparently there's an urgent need for mobile operators to improve the indoor coverage of their networks, says Infonetics Research in its latest white paper entitled "An Evaluation of In-Building Wireless Coverage." Cellular is still the dominant technology for wireless voice, but it is well documented that cellular signals -- particularly 3G signals -- have difficulty penetrating into buildings. Infonetics' white paper assesses the viability of different solutions for addressing this issue, particularly distributed antenna systems, picocells, femtocells, and alternatives such as VoIP over wireless LAN. "Improving in-building cellular coverage should be a pressing concern for mobile operators if they want to drive up revenue per user, particularly from enterprise customers," said Richard Webb, wireless analyst for Infonetics Research. "If they don't, these high value customers will loo

TV Mass-Market is Dead, Buried & Forgotten

Digital TV services are expected to reach around 165 million homes in western Europe and the U.S. by 2012, according to the latest Datamonitor assessment. With consumers able to access broadcast video content via a variety of methods, including cable, satellite and mobile broadcast TV -- pay-TV service operators will be up against fragmented new competition, and meaningful innovation will be a crucial factor for survival. As the sector transforms, service operators and broadcasters are searching for multiple strategies to ensure that their offerings are kept attractive to consumers. Primary strategies are through bundling alternative communications services (including voice and data) to traditional TV services. Triple and quadruple play service offerings, from operators like BSkyB, Canal Digital and Verizon, are attempts to survive changes in the marketplace. Furthermore, Datamonitor believes that these offerings are expected to aide in the significant growth of digital TV services ov

China Smartphone Market Explosive Growth

Driven by the continuous functional improvement of Smartphones, the introduction of mid-range models, better designs, and the enrichment of third-party applications, 10.46 million devices shipped in China in 2006 -- that's double from 2005 -- according to In-Stat. The explosive growth indicates that the Chinese Smartphone market will soon enter the mass adoption stage, the high-tech market research firm says. Entertainment functions are Chinese Smartphone owners' primary favorites, rather than productivity functions, according to the latest In-Stat market survey. "The most important three factors respondents would consider when purchasing their next Smartphone are function, brand and price," says Raymond Yan, In-Stat analyst. "Security, Internet access and synchronization with PCs are the top three problems that existing Smartphone users thought needed improvement." I believe that all three problems are related to device usability -- which is consistent with

Why A-la-Carte Satellite Radio, But Not IPTV?

According to an SNL Interactive report, XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio have offered details of the programming choices a merged company would offer, promising to provide consumers with "a la carte" packages starting at $6.99 per month. I'm left wondering, why didn't the FCC or the U.S. Department of Justice push for this type of requirement before approving the AT&T merger with BellSouth -- or any of the prior mergers that reduced the potential for competition, while further consolidating the American communications and media landscape? SNL says that the proposed packages seem to lend credence to the satellite radio company's claims that their proposed merger would result in lower prices and expanded consumer choice, a contention merger opponents such as the National Association of Broadcasters dismiss. Under the proposed pricing plans, which the companies said they planned to include in their reply comments filed with the FCC on July 24, custo

UK Firm Combines IPTV & Freeview Channels

CompleteTV, a UK-based company which delivers managed IPTV technology for personalized and interactive viewing experiences, has announced a partnership with Simply Global TV to provide a unique hybrid IPTV and Freeview service which is independent of their customer's Internet service provider (ISP). CompleteTV will supply its Set Top Media Center (STMC) to Simply Global TV for its new service, which launches this month. The STMC integrates IPTV channels with broadcast Freeview (DVB-T) channels into a single customer experience, with support for recording and pausing live TV. John Donovan, Managing Director, Simply Global TV said "The STMC is a world-leading platform in its flexibility and the guys from CompleteTV really understand our business goals of addressing the widest audience with the most diverse content from around the world." CompleteTV and Simply Global TV, a digital entertainment producer, aggregator and distributor, believe that they have addressed the bigges

Asia-Pacific PC Adoption is Key to Disruption

Worldwide PC shipments grew by 12.5 percent in the second quarter of 2007 (2Q07), according to IDC. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) returned as the fastest growing region with volume increasing more than 20 percent from the same quarter one year ago. A competitive market in the United States also helped boost overall growth with other regions expanding in line with or slightly behind forecasts. Channel expansion and competition for the consumer and small business segments added to the trend toward Portable systems as key market drivers. "This was another strong quarter that sets the stage for solid growth in the second half of 2007 and 2008," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "The success of HP and Acer as well as the rapid changes occurring at Dell in recent quarters underline just how dynamic the PC market is these days. Despite the temptation to simplify, the market is not just about replacing systems at the lowest cost. System d

Growing Demand for Home Media Networks

Nearly two-thirds of consumers want their televisions to connect to the Internet, a sentiment that will help propel rapid sales growth for network-enabled consumer electronics devices in the coming years, according to a market study by iSuppli Corp. In line with consumer desires, home networking is migrating beyond its PC-centric beginnings to incorporate a variety of entertainment-oriented consumer-electronics devices, including DVD recorders, cable modems, Digital Televisions (DTVs), multi-room Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), digital media adapters, set-top boxes and video game consoles. Shipments of these network-equipped devices, along with consumer PCs and home network bridges and gateways, are expected to rise to 732.9 million units by 2011, more than triple the 225.3 million that were shipped in 2006, according to iSuppli. "The awareness and demand for media home networking is growing rapidly among consumers," said Steve Rago, principal analyst, networking/optical comm

China's IPTV Market Forecast at 14.5 Million

According to the IDC report entitled "China IPTV 2007–2011 Forecast and Analysis", there was relatively rational and stable development last year in China's IPTV market, which saw more content providers and operators obtaining a business license with greater industry cooperation. As a result, the number of subscribers in the Chinese IPTV market reached 450,000 by the end of 2006. Elain Yi, Market Analyst at IDC's China Telecom Research, characterized the growing China IPTV market as follows: Due to increasingly relaxed policies, proliferation of new business models, improving technology standards, increased network loading capacity, greater user awareness, and increased cooperation within the industry, IDC believes that China has the greatest potential to become the largest IPTV market in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) region and commercial use in-scale will take place in 2007. Digital TV developed rapidly in 2006, and achieved critical mass. IDC therefore pre

Cable TV Operators Diversify Their Revenue

Cable TV service providers are increasingly seeking alternative revenue streams to supplement their income from residential video services, according to a market study by ABI Research. Four additions offer the greatest promise: voice telephony, broadband data services, SMB and cellular backhaul, and advertising. While these play a supporting role in the overall cable revenue mix today, their importance will grow strongly with time. "ABI Research expects that in 2007, residential video will account for about $170 billion in revenue worldwide," says vice president and research director Stan Schatt. "Voice, data, SMB/cellular backhaul, and advertising add a further $92 billion. However in 2012, the end of our current forecast period, those figures will be about $268 billion and $279 billion respectively, showing the increasing importance of these alternative services. Advertising revenues alone will grow from $40 billion this year to $194 billion in 2012." This shift i

Asian Developers Focus on Mobile Games

Ten percent of developers in the Asia Pacific region are working on computer games, according to the latest volume of the Evans Data Corp "Asia Pacific Development Survey," to be released to subscribers next week. That's three times more than in North America. In addition, nearly a quarter of developers are writing mobile applications, and of those, 25 percent spend more than half of their time on mobile applications. "Developers in the Asia Pacific region tend to be younger than developers in other parts of the world. Most are under thirty, and only a small proportion are over fifty years old," said John Andrews, President and CEO of Evans Data Corp. "This may in part explain their proclivity towards game development, and game development on mobile devices." The overwhelming majority of APAC developers are young. Three quarters (74 percent) are thirty years old or less, and this proportion has increased in the last year suggesting a strong influx of n

Fiber-to-the-Home in U.S. Barely Reaches 1%

Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan are the world leaders in the percentage of homes that receive broadband communications services over direct fiber optic connections, according to a new global ranking of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) market penetration issued jointly by the FTTH Councils of Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. According to this first ever official ranking of FTTH deployments in the world's economies, 21.2 percent of homes in Hong Kong are wired with FTTH, followed by South Korea at 19.6 percent and Japan at 16.3 percent. Scandinavian countries occupy the next three positions, with Sweden having 7.2 percent of its households connected to FTTH, Denmark at 2.9 percent and Norway at 2.5 percent. Taiwan, Italy, People's Republic of China, The Netherlands and the United States round out the top 11 economies, with FTTH penetration rates of between 1.4 and 1 percent of households. Only economies with penetration of 1 percent or more were included in the ranking. The thr

Worldwide Cellular Base Station Forecast

A booming subscriber base and new technology are propelling the market for cellular base station equipment to new heights, according to In-Stat. Cellular markets in emerging economies such as China and India continue to expand and require additional infrastructure to increase areas of service, the high-tech market research firm says. "In addition to the sheer number of cellular base stations required to provide coverage to the planet, cellular technology is always evolving, requiring cellular operators to shutdown their old networks and build new networks, sometimes from scratch," says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. The market research study is entitled the "5-Year Worldwide Cellular Base Station Report, 2006-2011" which covers the worldwide market for cellular base stations. It provides forecasts for base station units by technology and by region. It includes analysis of major trends shaping this market. In-Stat's market study found the following: - By 2011, In-

DLNA Technocrats Lack Marketing Programs

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) has made good progress in promoting the emergence of an ecosystem of compatible connected media devices, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics. But their report entitled "Connected Media Devices: DLNA Needs Marketing Investment to Justify Vendor Support," also highlights the danger that technical progress is not being matched by marketing initiatives aimed at promoting the benefits of the technology to end users. Strategy Analytics notes that only a fraction of DLNA-compliant devices are actively labeled or marketed as such, and some industry players privately express frustration at progress on these issues. Therefore, perhaps the group is in need of new executive leadership. "Major technology vendors such as Nokia, Sony, HP, Philips and Intel are now offering devices that will share media such as music and digital photos with impressive ease of use and slickness," notes Peter King, Connected Home Devices

M-Commerce Customer Experience is Lacking

The Strategy Analytics Wireless Media Lab has recently released its latest end user research report entitled "M-Commerce: Search Efficiency and Results Customization Critical," which evaluates the mobile experience of leading e-commerce sites eBay, and Odeon Cinema. This report finds that users rated the experience of mobile commerce substantially inferior to the fixed internet experience, with extremely low satisfaction ratings, depending on the site being tested. At the very least, users expect to be able to purchase content ( and Odeon Cinema) and bid for items (eBay) using the mobile portal. This report also found that Amazon -- followed by iTunes -- are the most sought after e-commerce sites on mobile phones. "Consumers were profoundly dissatisfied with the concept of only using the M-Commerce sites for research and pre-purchase evaluation," commented Paul Brown, Senior Analyst, User Experience Research. "Participants were surp

132 Million Americans Viewing Online Video

The comScore "Video Metrix" report for May 2007 revealed that nearly 75 percent of U.S. Internet users watched an average of 158 minutes of online video per user during the month. No surprise, Google sites continue to top the monthly rankings with both the most unique video streamers and most videos streamed. May saw Americans view more than 8.3 billion video streams online, and Google sites once again ranked as the top U.S. streaming video property with 1.8 billion videos streamed (21.5 percent share of streams), 1.7 billion of which occurred at Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 680 million streams (8.1 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 387 million (4.6 percent) and Viacom Digital with 237 million (2.8 percent). In total, nearly 132 million Americans viewed online streaming video in May. Google sites also captured the largest streaming video audience with more than 64.9 million unique streamers, followed by Fox Interactive Media with 52.7 million a

Gateways to Dominate Digital Home CPE

In 2006, 127 million worldwide broadband customer premises equipment (CPE) units (broadband modems, routers, and residential gateways) shipped, resulting in an increase of almost 20 percent over 2005, according to an In-Stat market study. By 2011, annual CPE revenue will be dominated by residential gateways, with new gateways garnering over half of total worldwide revenue. In-Stat expects to see a healthy volume of FTTH ONTs ship this year, which will help to stabilize the broadband modem/ONT market segment. In terms of wired versus wireless CPE, in 2006, In-Stat saw a significant difference between the percentage of routers that shipped that had wireless LAN versus DSL residential gateways. By 2010, they believe that worldwide home LAN PHY interface shipments will surpass 500 million. Meanwhile, the installed base of home networks will climb by over 35 percent in 2007, driven significantly by Asia. By the time worldwide broadband subscribers exceed 500 million in 2010, th

Panasonic to Miss Mid-Term Revenue Target

Panasonic's three-year digital home growth plan is likely to remain largely on course, although it will fall short of its revenue target by $500 Million in 2010, according to the latest research from the Strategy Analytics "Connected Home Devices" service. The report, "Panasonic's AV Strategy: Plasma Success Will Not Prevent Revenue Shortfall," suggests that the company will meet its target for sales of plasma TVs, in spite of its overly optimistic view of future market growth. Panasonic's biggest challenge will be in Blu-ray Disc players, where it will struggle to achieve its targeted sales. "Panasonic is right to target plasma and Blu-ray Disc as revenue growth opportunities," says Peter King, Service Director and author of the report. "Our own analysis, however, indicates that the company's market projections are out of line with realistic medium-term forecasts. Plasma TV markets in particular will fail to meet Panasonic's expec

South Korea Still Leads Mobile Data Growth

Global mobile phone data revenues from services other than SMS exceeded $10 billion in 1Q07 according to Informa's World Cellular Data Metrics (WCDM). The total of $11.3 billion compares with $8.1 billion in 1Q06. The figure means that nearly one third of mobile data revenues now come from non-SMS services, suggesting operator's investments in advanced technologies are finally reaping rewards. Again, this is a global metric, and doesn't reflect typical results here in the U.S. -- although Verizon Wireless has made some noteworthy progress. Moreover, this does not mean the end of the road for short message services (SMS). Worldwide SMS traffic was up year-on-year by around 50 percent to more than 620 billion messages in 1Q07, according the WCDM report. The SMS phenomenon is truly amazing -- especially when you consider that its application, adoption and continued marketing is typically driven by subscriber word-of-mouth. SMS revenues were up 23 percent over the same period,

Why U.S. Needs Wholesale-Retail Separation

Just a little over a year ago, most analysts thought the U.S. market would only see deployments of fixed WiMAX in rural areas with little or no DSL or cable modem service. During the summer of 2006, however, the bar of expectations was raised off the ground -- but it needs to go much higher. In July, Clearwire made a firm commitment to shift its proprietary network to mobile WiMAX, receiving investments from Intel and Motorola. Shortly afterwards, Sprint announced its plans to deploy mobile WiMAX to make use of its extensive 2.5 GHz spectrum, becoming the first major mobile operator to commit to WiMAX. "Today we are watching major strategic alliances, partnerships, and mergers starting to take place," says ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis. "DirecTV and EchoStar announced a partnership with Clearwire, allowing Clearwire to bundle broadcast video and -- when its network is deployed -- provide the DBS companies with a fast, low-latency pipe into the home."

Video Side Loading vs Mobile Delivery Option

While mobile video delivery services are a hot topic with great potential, the market is very complicated, and will take quite a few more years to completely sort itself out, according to a new market study by In-Stat. The Mobile Video Services category combines cell phones, broadcasting, Pay-TV, satellites, and the Internet. "We've identified six competing vectors of growth that need to be understood by service operators before they make large infrastructure investments. Each geographic region is developing differently, and all technology approaches are in play," says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst. "The opportunities appear to be huge, but the current level of fragmentation in the industry, and in the markets, may make it difficult for anybody to reach the economies of scale required to make Mobile Video Services a truly worldwide phenomenon. We're more likely to see geographic regions developing their own local approaches, and we will even find some country-

Digital Home Semiconductor Opportunities

Opportunities still exist in the digital subscriber line (xDSL) and cable modem semiconductor markets over the 2007-2011 period, according to a new IDC market study. Despite falling ASPs, semiconductor suppliers who can deliver viable solutions for supporting VDSL2, and quad-play (voice, data, video, wireless) services in customer premise equipment (CPE) -- such as residential gateways within the digital home environment -- will be in a better position to carve out their share of the growth opportunity. "In an effort to remain competitive and profitable, many telcos and multi-system operators (MSOs) strive towards the delivery of quad-play offerings, encouraging a replacement of central office (CO) equipment and CPE," said Aileen Arcilla, senior research analyst for IDC's semiconductor programs. "Increased sales, however, are offset by quickly declining ASPs. Semiconductor companies that can incorporate the needed functions into single chip solutions, stand the best

U.S. CDMA Alliance is a Victim of Qualcomm

At the beginning of July the U.S. wireless industry association, CTIA, filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit supporting a stay of the International Trade Commission's (ITC) sweeping order that prevents new and upgraded wireless products that incorporate certain Qualcomm semiconductors from being imported into the United States. The Qualcomm chips in question have been found to infringe upon a Broadcom patent. Regardless, the CTIA brief was offered "in support" of an Emergency Motion filed by Qualcomm Incorporated, Verizon Wireless and other petitioners. In the "friend of the court" brief, the CTIA argues that "the ITC has not only exceeded its statutory authority by barring non-liable parties from importing certain products, but in doing so will inflict significant harm upon American public safety, innovation and economic productivity." A section of the brief reads; "The downstream exclusion or

Global Location-Based Mobile Service Market

The worldwide market for Location-Based Services (LBS) is expected to reach nearly $1.5 billion in 2007 as an ever increasing number of cellular and other wireless carriers provide customized mobile services based upon a location-awareness of their subscribers. According to a new market research study from The Insight Research Corporation, location-based telecommunication services are most popular in Asia-Pacific countries, where they provide wireless subscribers with tailored information based upon their current physical location. The Insight Research report entitled "Location Based Services Market 2007-2011," notes that location-based services are part of a worldwide push by mobile phone carriers to create new IP-enabled services for consumers and business users. The study notes that consumers of mobile telecommunications services in leading markets are adopting location based services along with other IP-enabled services such as video telephony, fixed-mobile convergence, f

Mobile TV is No Threat to Current Value-Chain

"Telecom carriers around the world are now making significant investments in their networks, not only to deliver digital video content to subscribers, but also to stake their claim as key players in the digital media industry," says Aditya Kishore, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading and author of a new report entitled "Telecom in TV Land: A Roadmap to the New Digital Media Ecosystem." "But even as they try to navigate this new terrain, telcos are finding that the media ecosystem itself is undergoing some fundamental changes, due in no small part to new technologies that telcos and their competitors are introducing into the mix. As a result, long-established relationships between content producers and distributors are shifting, leaving the digital media ecosystem in a state of flux, if not downright upheaval." Telecom operators are likely to find that the technology challenges involved with IPTV deployments are minor compared with the business challenges the