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Showing posts from January, 2008

Videoconferencing Benefits from Shift to IP

Progressive efforts from major companies like Cisco, Microsoft, and IBM to promote media-rich productivity tools are boosting the prospects for videoconferencing and telepresence solutions, according to the latest study by In-Stat. The driving factors behind increased adoption and use are technology, bandwidth, and convergence, the high-tech market research firm says. According to a recent In-Stat survey of U.S. businesses, the decision to use or not use video conferencing is no longer based on uncertainty over the quality of the experience among those who have tried it lately. Furthermore, cost alone does not seem to be a hindrance of adoption or use. "The shift to an IP environment that enables unified communications, presence, and mobile integration provides a technological environment where traditional video conferencing, as well as telepresence can become synergistic elements," says David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst. The research covers the U.S. market for video confere

Over 300 Million Mobile Phones Shipped Q4

The worldwide mobile phone market passed a new milestone in shipments by recording over 300 million devices shipped during the fourth quarter, while experiencing slower year over year growth for 2007. According to IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, the 334 million handsets shipped during the holiday quarter was a new record for the industry, and was up 15.3 percent over last quarter. For the entire year, total shipments reached 1,144.1 million units in 2007 with 12.4 percent overall growth. Nokia once again led vendors in shipments throughout the year, although some shakeup in the vendor rankings did occur. Samsung, which had been the number three vendor in the industry, surpassed Motorola during 2007 to capture the number two spot. "Give credit to Samsung for taking the number two position worldwide from Motorola," says Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. "For the past few years, Samsung's growth kept pa

Innovation Drives Over-the-Top Video 2.0

Early attempts to bring over-the-top video to consumer television screens have fallen far short of success, but that's about to change with the arrival of new vertically integrated 2.0 solutions and associated business models, according to a market study by ABI Research. Thus far, initial product offerings have been centered on a computing and home networking model -- but vendors are learning that they need to provide end-to-end solutions in order to attract new consumers. The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) supports broad communication between networked devices and even handset manufacturers such as Nokia have shown how a Wi-Fi enabled handset plays a role in the connected living room. Microsoft has been busy with its Media Center Extender technology, now repositioned as Extender technology for the Windows Media Center. It can be embedded in any suitable consumer electronics device, in addition to standalone DMA (Digital Media Adapter) clients, and is featured in product

Mobile Payments in North American Market

No cash? No problem. The U.S. finally seems to be moving closer to a goal of using mobile phones to accomplish financial transactions and make purchases as several competing market players align on both technology and objectives, according to In-Stat. Although 2008 will not be the year of mobile payments in the U.S., some meaningful progress is likely, the high-tech market research firm says. "There is evidence that the U.S. market may overcome a crucial issue -- technology incompatibility -- and make progress during 2008 toward contactless payments using cell phones," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst. "Companies in several different sectors all ultimately want to deploy near field communications (NFC), the key enabling technology, into handsets as well as in merchant payment terminals." There is also general agreement that the current generation of mobile banking services is an important first step toward accomplishing that goal. Hopefully, the result wil

Satnav In-Car Navigation on Mobile Phones

Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) are a very popular and fast-growing class of consumer electronic device, according to the latest study by Ovum. However, smartphones with GPS are emerging as viable navigation devices too, and in some respects they can offer major advantages over PNDs. Satnav-capable phones are currently selling around four times more quickly than PNDs. There is therefore a substantial addressable market for devices, products and services enabling mobile phone owners to use their phones as satnav devices, either as an alternative to a PND or as a complement to one. Key findings of the Ovum report include: - The total addressable market for in-car navigation on mobile phones is bigger than the total addressable market for PNDs, by somewhere between 15 percent and 25 percent. - Several different types of player can act as the service provider for mobile phone navigation. Vendors of software and content have been driving the market most actively, and many market ser

VC and Media Investment in Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds Management announced findings from their comprehensive study showing that venture capital and media firms have invested more than $425 million dollars in 15 virtual worlds companies during the fourth quarter of 2007. Of the $425 million, $375 Million was invested in 13 companies and the remaining $50 million consisted of two acquisitions. Fourth quarter numbers are up from $220 million having been invested in 23 virtual worlds related companies in Q3 2007. In the third quarter Disney also announced its $700 million acquisition of Club Penguin. No comparable data is available for Q4 2006. Investors during the Q4 2007 period include: Omnicom, Alloy Ventures and Storm Ventures, Vickers Financial Group, DHX Media Ltd., Benchmark Capital, Canaan Partners, GrandBanks Capital, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures, Rustic Canyon Ventures, Providence Equity Partners, Charles River Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners and Pequot Ventures, Gigamedia, Sony and Time Warn

Mobile Device Vendors Gain from Upside

World stock markets have recently taken a beating and the U.S. domestic market is on the edge of recession but based on the latest mobile phone shipment figures from ABI Research, it seems no one bothered to tell the handset vendors. "Many economic sectors are struggling and there are fears that the global market might mimic the downturn in the United States, but virtually all the mobile device vendors experienced very festive cheer in 4Q 2007," said ABI Research vice president Jake Saunders, after assessing latest vendor results. "It looks like the quarter will clock out at our forecast of 342 million devices, which takes the yearly tally to 1.15 billion -- a 15.8 percent increase on 2006." "Taking into account the growing sense of global economic uncertainty, ABI Research has reduced its 2008 handset market growth forecast from 13.5 percent to 12 percent,” added research director Stuart Carlaw. Motorola was the only vendor not to enjoy the fruits of 2007.

Digital Interface Demand Shifts in the Market

The DVI standard, facing strong competition from other technologies including HDMI and the DisplayPort standard in the PC market, will begin a steep decline in 2008, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. DVI will decline from 112 million device shipments in 2007 to just 3 million device shipments in 2011, the high-tech market research firm says. Digital visual interface (DVI) and high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI), are related, high-bandwidth, unidirectional, uncompressed digital interface standards. "HDMI's success continues to be enormous, especially in the Consumer Electronics (CE) segment," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst. "Close to 90 percent of digital television (DTV) shipments in 2007 are expected to include HDMI. In addition, HDMI penetration of large markets such as set top boxes continues to increase." In-Stat market study found the following: - 143 million HDMI-enabled devices will ship in 2007. - DVI-enabled device

China Pay-TV Subs Now Double of the U.S.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, 2007 was a year of contrasts for the global cable TV industry, particularly on the subscriber side. On the positive side of the ledger, total worldwide cable TV subscriber households now number 408 million -- an increase of 10 percent over the total from last January. At the same time, however, the number of U.S. cable TV households decreased again during 2007. Currently, there are just under 68 million cable TV households in the U.S., a decrease of approximately 500,000 during the past year. So why the contrast between the global market and the U.S. market? In-Stat says two key points account for the difference -- booming demand and investment in emerging markets, and increasing competition in more established markets. In contrast, I believe that the primary reason for the U.S. decline isn't competition, it's actually the ongoing increases in cable TV subscription fees, and the growth of alternative forms of entertainment av

EV-DO Data Subs Exceed 85 Million in 2008

The number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide actively using data services via CDMA2000 1xEV-DO increased more than 80 percent year-on-year, according to the latest market study by Informa. The figure surpassed 56 million at the end of 3Q07, up from 30.8 million a year earlier, to represent 15.3 percent of the world's overall CDMA base. The increase was driven by Verizon Wireless (USA) and KDDI (Japan), the leading EV-DO operators, which accounted for 60 percent (33.8 million) of the world total between them at the end of 3Q07. Verizon Wireless total EV-DO subscriptions increased nearly three-fold in the year to September 2007, boosted by a wider range of EV-DO-enabled devices. Currently 39 of the operator's 49 handsets are EV-DO-capable. KDDI has the highest percentage of CDMA users that are also active users of data via EV-DO (56.4 percent). Innovative data services, as well as Japanese subscribers propensity to regularly upgrade to the latest handset models, are the

Few Telcos Launch Interactive IPTV Service

Offered either on a stand-alone basis or bundled with other telecom products, IPTV services are experiencing noteworthy expansion across developed and emerging markets, according to the latest market assessment by Pyramid Research. IPTV subscriptions doubled in number over the past 12 months and will continue to post double-digit growth over the next four years as they are rolled out in markets around the world. In numbers, the results are as follows: - There were approximately 15 million IPTV subscribers at year-end 2007. - Using a bottom-up regional analysis and forecasts, the global IPTV market in 2011 will be more than 72.6 million subscribers. But all is not equal even among IPTV offerings. Currently, IPTV services do not evolve in a linear manner from basic to highly sophisticated products. Some telcos launch highly interactive IPTV services with a wide content portfolio from day one, while others go to market with a basic VoD-only approach. By considering market conditions

Japan and South Korea Lead Mobile Video

As mobile television services expand over the next five years, ABI Research predicts that the total number of subscribers will grow to 462 million -- driven in large part by the expansion of 3G networks, and flat-rate plans for mobile video services. The build-out of mobile video delivery networks and an increase in the amount of available content will also contribute to the market's growth. "Mobile operator sustained investment in video delivery will continue to be rewarded by subscriber's growing adoption rates, particularly as they upgrade to new video-capable handsets," says research director Mike Wolf. "Consumers are being increasingly enticed by better experiences through more powerful and larger screens as well as by a widening array of subscription options." ABI Research sees the Asia-Pacific region as the overall leader in the adoption of mobile video services. The number of subscribers to mobile video services in Asia-Pacific will grow from 24

Wireless Broadband for Work-Life Balance

Pressure on companies to provide work-life balance programs for their employees -- combined with advances in communication technologies -- is increasing the number of mobile workers in the U.S. and around the world. By year-end 2011, IDC expects nearly 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will be mobile. The current generation of workers is demanding more flexibility and mobility in their schedules. They also have a higher comfort level with technology in general, including remote access technologies and mobile devices. The proliferation of high speed networks, widespread public wireless broadband Wi-Fi hotspots, and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) technology now allows employees to work effectively from almost anywhere. In addition to meeting the demands of today's workforce, enterprises are deploying mobile solutions to meet both horizontal and vertical industry needs driven by increasing business response time as well as to help reduce corporate space (and leasing) requirements.

Evolving Market for Online Gaming Services

Though 2007 was another strong year for video game makers, the gaming console hardware business is very costly, according to the latest market study from In-Stat. Therefore, the three main vendors have turned to online gaming either to generate additional revenue streams or to promote brand loyalty, the high-tech market research firm says. "The primary differences among Nintendo's, Sony's, and Microsoft's online efforts are mainly of scope," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. Microsoft is looking to create a number of revenue streams through its Live service, including its subscription service, paid casual games, and additional paid content. Sony is following a model similar to that of Microsoft's, except for the subscription service. Nintendo is limiting its revenue to paid downloads for Nintendo and partner games. In-Stat's market study found the following: - From 2004 to 2011, annualized growth of console subscribers will be 42.7 percent, and

Cable Co to Test Usage Based Broadband

Time Warner Cable (TWC), the second largest Multi System Operator (MSO) in North America, confirmed plans last week to test market usage-based billing (UBB) in its Beaumont, Texas market. TWC estimates that roughly five percent of its High Speed Internet service users consume fifty percent of the bandwidth. However, a new assessment by Strategy Analytics questions the wisdom of this move. "Moving towards UBB is an operational misstep, and runs the risk of confusing customers, creating bad blood and further tarnishing the already low customer satisfaction scores Broadband Service Providers (BSPs) typically garner," says David Mercer, Vice-President of the Strategy Analytics Digital Consumer Practice. Continued broadband penetration depends on the BSP's ability to win customer wallet share. Customers have grown accustomed to paying for their broadband service in a certain way, and appreciate and expect a predictable monthly bill. Dramatically altering the model, with no

Confused Analysts Can't Forecast 3G Mobile

Many factors impact base station demand, and the largest is the uptake and usage of 3G technology in mobile service provider networks, according to the latest study by In-Stat. Should uptake of 3G services be light over the next several years, the only new base stations required would be those to support more subscribers and for replacement of old or broken base stations, the high-tech market research firm says. But, should 3G demand miraculously become heavy, the number of base stations required to quench this wireless demand could be large, with operators paying dearly for new base stations. However, given the lack of consumer demand for 3G services, it's the equipment vendors who continue to benefit. Meaning, analysts are apparently puzzled. "Our forecast for 3G data use falls somewhere between very little use and heavy use," says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. "While there are many convincing arguments for heavy wireless data use, competing technologies, such

A Total of 269 Million PCs Shipped in 2007

Worldwide PC shipments grew by 15.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 (4Q07), according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. In EMEA the consumer and back-to-school rush that drove more than 20 percent growth in 3Q07 subsided, but shipments continued to expand rapidly -- outpacing growth in the prior five quarters. Other markets also performed well with growth in the United States rising to 8.8 percent and stronger than expected results in Japan and Latin America. On an annual basis, total shipments reached 269.0 million units in 2007 with growth of 14.3 percent. HP took the top spot with volume of over 50.5 million, with Dell in second with volume of 40.0 million. Acer moved into third with volume of 21.2 million excluding Gateway's business for the first three quarters and 24.6 million including Gateway, followed by Lenovo with 20.2 million. "Fourth quarter results show a very healthy PC market," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarter

U.S. Online Video Market Still Expanding

ComScore released its latest Video Metrix report, indicating that more than 75 percent of U.S. Internet users watched a video online, averaging 3.25 hours of video per person during the month of November 2007. Google Sites, which includes YouTube.com, increased its video market share by more than two percentage points to 31.3 percent from October to November. Americans viewed nearly 9.5 billion online videos in November, with Google Sites once again ranking as the top U.S. video property with 3 billion videos viewed (31.3 percent share of all videos viewed), 2.9 billion of which occurred at YouTube.com (30.6 percent). Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 419 million videos viewed (4.4 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 328 million (3.5 percent) and Viacom Digital with 304 million (2.6 percent). In total, 138 million Americans -- approximately three in four U.S Internet users -- viewed online video in November. Google Sites also captured the largest online video audience wit

Online Channel Aids Tech Buyer Facilitation

Last year was the first time trade shows -- or face-to-face media -- surpassed business publications in share of total revenue. The emphasis on socialization -- and social media -- is growing for digital media, according to the latest market assessment by eMarketer. Their "B2B Marketing Online" report tracks the tectonic shifts that are shaking up the once solid and predictable world of long, complicated sales cycles. Of course, reaching the ultimate decision maker is still the key goal, but marketers also need to target researchers, technical advisers and negotiators at every stage of the buyer facilitation process. In addition, online search-based research clearly plays a major role for buyers in every phase of the purchase process, and social media -- such as blogs, wikis, social networks -- are being consulted as well. eMarketer projects that in 2008, U.S. B2B online advertising spending will increase almost 19 percent, to $5.2 billion. I believe that the technology marke

72 Million Cable Modem Service Subscribers

As the market for basic video services becomes ever more competitive, cable TV operators around the world are now relying on cable modem services to generate new revenue streams, according to the latest study by In-Stat. In fact, bundling video and data services is providing cable operators with a significant competitive advantage over their pay-TV service rivals, the high-tech market research firm says. "Some markets, such as North America, are feeling the effects of increasing competition for video service subscribers," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "However, in other markets, demand for cable video services is growing at an almost exponential rate. China is a good example. In 2007, it added over 20 million cable TV subscriber households." The research covers worldwide markets for cable modem and cable TV video services. It discusses technology standards and market dynamics for cable modem services around the world, provides regional and country-by-country

Broadband Video and Internet TV Growth

As new solutions for bringing online video to the TV flourish, ABI Research believes that rental, download to own and subscription models will all see significant traction. However, the greatest number of downloads will be through rental, in particular for online movie rentals. Overall online pay video streams for over-the-top video downloads will grow from 215 million in 2008 to over 2.4 billion in 2012, with rentals accounting for approximately half of these. "The opening up of rental for video on iTunes is not surprising, given that is how most consumers looking for legal paid movie downloads will choose to acquire them," says research director Michael Wolf. "Distribution offerings for movies that are in attractive release windows and that offer easy viewing on a TV or portable screen will see the greatest success." However, challenges still remain for this market, particularly competition from legacy VOD services as well as unattractive ownership and rental t

Google Yahoo and Nokia Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing, which was born in countries such as Japan and South Korea, has taken off in Western Europe and is finally beginning to grow in North America. As consumers move to flat-rate data plans and adopt mobile messaging, and as new platforms for advertising-supported mobile search, video and gaming content services arrive, mobile marketing is expected to grow to over $24 billion worldwide in 2013, jumping from just $1.8 billion in 2007. "The clear difference in this market over the past twelve months has been the embrace of mobile marketing as an integral part of cross-media brand campaigns," says ABI Research director Michael Wolf. "Mobile is no longer off-limits in the minds of advertisers, but is instead seen as a very personal way to reach consumers who can be incentivized through information services and compelling content, as well as through more directly relevant and targeted messaging." The market, however, is still very much a nascent environme

Global Market for Personal Video Recorders

The Personal Video Recorder (PVR) market is starting to show signs of maturation, according to the latest In-Stat market study. These signs include expanding geographic availability of PVR products, particularly into Europe and Asia, and a leveling out of both PVR unit shipments and product revenues, the high-tech market research firm says. In 2008, PVR product unit shipments are forecasted to surpass 22.6 million, up from 19.6 million in 2007. "Long-term prospects for the market remain bright, as strong demand from pay-TV service providers for PVR-enabled digital set top box products will sustain growth," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. The research covers the worldwide market for Personal Video Recorder products. It discusses the functionality of today's PVR products, and provides information about key PVR manufacturers, leading service providers, and the important trends that are shaping the PVR market. The research provides worldwide PVR unit shipment and reven

Chinese Wireless Standard Seeks a Market

TD-SCDMA is expected to be the dominant 3G technology in China, due to the heavyweight Chinese government support it receives. However there are no indications that 3G licenses will be issued anytime soon, and according to ABI Research analyst Hwai Lin Khor, "TD-SCDMA is likely to face an uphill battle outside of Mainland China, even in Hong Kong." China's TD-SCDMA ecosystem is ready. Both Chinese and international industry players are already showing off their multimode handsets with TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE interfaces. The deployed network infrastructure is already upgraded to an HSDPA-enhanced version. TD-SCDMA's intellectual property rights holder, Datang Mobile, is already working towards an evolution of TD-SCDMA that will eventually incorporate LTE. The evidence suggests that the current 3G delay is due to regulatory complications rather than technical ones. ABI Research believes that the restructuring of the telecommunications industry will continue through Q1

An Upside for Operations Support Systems

The global market for operations support systems (OSS) -- the computing and software IT infrastructure that performs engineering, provisioning, and management functions in telecommunications networks -- will exceed $46 billion in 2008, according to the study by Insight Research. Telecommunications industry spending for OSS platforms is expected to lag only slightly the forecast growth in service revenue over the next five years, indicating that the industry is fully expecting sustainable growth in the years ahead. According to their report entitled "Operations Support Systems, 2007-2012," telecom network operators worldwide are forecast to increase their investment in OSS platforms at a compounded rate of just over eight percent over the next five years. North American investment in the computing and software systems used to acquire, serve, and bill customers will lag worldwide investment, growing at a compounded rate of nearly six percent over the same period, while OSS e

Growth for Unified Communications Platforms

Continued adoption by enterprises of applications and services based on IP technology is creating a new opportunity for providers of unified communications platforms, especially in vertical industries that are well advanced in the move to all-IP networks, according to the latest report published by Light Reading. "Enterprises face heavy pressure to streamline business processes and increase worker productivity, both of which can be accomplished through unified communications," notes Denise Culver, research analyst with Light Reading's VOIP Services Insider and author of the report. The greatest attraction may ultimately lie in unified communication's ability to deliver strong, targeted applications for enterprises in vertical market sectors, she says. "For example, the insurance industry has a strong need for presence-based and find-me or follow-me technologies, since most of its workforce is made up of teleworkers and road warriors," she explains. Despit

Saturation of U.S. Mobile Data Applications

Growth in revenue for mobile phone business applications was close to 50 percent between 2006 and 2007, but then will slow to 44 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to the latest market assessment by In-Stat. These strong growth projections are good news for the wireless industry, but may be lower than some may be planning on based upon the literal reading of end-user survey data, the high-tech market research firm says. That's because there is a widening gap between what decision-makers expect that they will do and what they actually implement. "As business users approach saturation for horizontal mobile data applications, most of the growth potential remains for vertical market applications," says Bill Hughes, In-Stat analyst. "These require more planning and time to implement. The result is that many within the wireless industry may have overoptimistic forecasts." The research covers the U.S. market for mobile business data. It provides forecasts for m

Worldwide Retail Industry 2008 Top 10 Tech

Global Retail Insights announced the release of its annual report, Worldwide Retail Industry 2008 Top 10 Predictions, which identifies the major market and technology trends that will directly influence global retailing and the resulting shopper experience around the world. According to this new study, retailers are preparing for what will no doubt be a turbulent 2008. "A tepid holiday season to close 2007, combined with intensifying macro-economic pressures led by the U.S. sub-prime mortgage meltdown, currency challenges, and increasing energy costs, will force most merchants into new IT strategies at all levels -- from the global sources of supply to the products on the store or e-commerce shelf," said Scott Langduc, vice president of Research and Business Leader for Global Retail Insights. "The quest for top-line growth will further drive retailers toward regional and global expansion." Changing shopper demographics and habits will require new levels of custom

Flat All-IP Architecture Using 3GPP Standard

Broadband network operators are planning to roll out all-IP networks beginning in the next two years, according to a new market study from ABI Research. The move to an Internet Protocol-based infrastructure is a natural evolution for the mobile network as broadband services -- including Voice over IP, and other SIP services -- begin to be deployed. The industry aims to rival mobile WiMAX, which has similar aims and timescale. In early 2008 there will be full 3GPP standards for mobile networks allowing IP-based services to be deployed, a process that ABI Research analysts expect to start in 2010, following trials in 2009. "As we move to the end of the decade, mobile networks will emerge with a flat all-IP architecture using 3GPP standards to deliver multimedia services and VoIP. Operators want to control operating costs by eliminating the current dual circuit and packet switched networks," says ABI Research analyst Ian Cox. This will enable service delivery platforms and I

2008 International CES Latest Tech Innovation

With a record 1.85 million net square feet of exhibit space -- the largest in show history -- featuring more than 2,700 companies launching their latest innovations, the world's largest tradeshow for consumer technology wrapped up four full days of technological innovation. Major trends sweeping the show floor and defining the future of the consumer technology market included digital entertainment, HDTV, green technology and free trade. Produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the 2008 International CES ran January 7-10, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada. "The 2008 International CES succeeded spectacularly, and will help fuel the growth of the consumer technology industry throughout 2008 and into the future," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. "This year's International CES was a show of firsts; the first leaders from the automotive and cable industries to deliver CES keynote addresses, the first time the president of a country has spoken at CE

Hong Kong World's Leading IPTV Market

Broadband service bundling is common in advanced Asia-Pacific markets. Hong Kong is still the world's leading IPTV market, according to the latest market study by Ovum. Bundling also occurs in some emerging markets, though the extent and nature of service bundling varies considerably across the Asia-Pacific region. Customers in Asia-Pacific are increasingly purchasing two or more telecommunications services. Apart from fixed telephony, Asia-Pacific customers in the region are heavy users of mobile services, and several Asia-Pacific markets lead in the penetration of broadband services. - In emerging markets, the prevalence of prepaid services creates problems for traditional bundling strategies. Also, the broadband and content markets are immature but fast growing, and bundling has not yet become important. - Fixed telephony rather than broadband is often the central product of bundled offers in Asia-Pacific market. - Quad-play is rare in the region and it is expected to remai

New Optical Transport Layer Will Emerge

In a recent study by Infonetics Research to determine the data network evolution plans and router and switch requirements of service providers the increasing importance of Ethernet features prominently. As carriers transform their networks in an effort to simplify network layers, use fewer technologies, build a more cost efficient infrastructure, and move to all-packet, a new optical transport layer will emerge, according to the study. This new layer will be a fused Ethernet-WDM packet transport with circuit-like capabilities via Ethernet transport tunnels, also known as COE, or connection oriented Ethernet. The service layer above the Ethernet-WDM transport will be simplified to IP/MPLS/Ethernet, and carriers will gradually reduce their dependence on SONET and SDH in transport and on ATM in service layers, while increasing their use of Ethernet in the service and transport layers. This means a growing IP router and carrier Ethernet switch market, the study says. "COE Ethernet

IP Service Assurance Develops Momentum

IPTV is emerging as the high-profile application that is sparking network operator deployments of IP service assurance technology and products worldwide, according to the latest report from Light Reading. "Two key factors are driving telecom network operators to investigate IP service assurance -- service scaling and the addition of more IP applications to their networks," notes Denise Culver, research analyst for Light Reading Insider and author of the report. "The emergence of VOIP as a mainstream business and consumer service is combining with wide-scale commercial rollouts of IPTV services to stress carrier IP networks as never before, and that burden will only continue to grow as network operators add more services to their IP portfolios." Deployment of IP service assurance has been most aggressive in the Asia-Pacific region, where IPTV is by far in its most advanced deployment stage, Culver points out. "Although IP service assurance covers the full ran

Mobile Network Chips Worldwide Market

Trends in the fast-changing world of mobile wireless services point to slowly decreasing revenues for base station chipmakers over the next several years, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Providers are upgrading to the fastest cellular phone network technology as quickly as they can, but doing it while keeping price pressure on infrastructure equipment makers, the high-tech market research firm says. Further adding to price pressures are Chinese and other low-cost Asian semiconductor makers that have recently become more prominent in the worldwide semiconductor market. "Semiconductor revenue from base stations is forecast to drop over the next few years," says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. "In these next five years, WiMAX infrastructure semiconductors will make-up a small part of this shortfall, as will other infrastructures, such as mobile TV networks, but these networks likely won't be able to totally fill the gap." The research report cove

Dedicated Music Servers Enter Digital Home

Music servers in use today are mostly general purpose consumer PCs, but there's an opportunity growing over time in the dedicated music server market. Dedicated music server hardware revenue is expected to grow to $3.2 billion worldwide by the end of 2012 according to ABI Research. "Many of the necessary forces are beginning to come together to enable the move of networked audio beyond the early adopter market, and networked audio servers will stand to benefit, says research director Michael Wolf. "Standards-based software and lower costs on mass storage, as well as dedicated off the shelf processors that enable networked media solutions are becoming a reality." The desire by consumers to connect and deliver music around the home has been dampened by the difficulty of setting up and connecting existing solutions as well as the high cost. Industry-wide efforts for networked entertainment in the form of DLNA and other advances will help this effort, as will more larg

Mobile WiMAX Drives New Semiconductors

The emerging WiMAX semiconductor chipset market will be driven primarily by embedded Mobile WiMAX in mobile PCs through 2012, according to an In-Stat market study. WiMAX Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), external clients and dual-mode cellular/WiMAX handsets will also help drive WiMAX chipset volumes through 2012. Major players in the user terminal chipset space in 2007 were Sequans, Intel, Beceem, Runcom and GCT Semiconductor. "The total WiMAX user terminal chipset market will reach almost $500 million in 2012, growing from $27 million in 2007," says Gemma Tedesco, In-Stat analyst. "Furthermore, WiMAX base station semiconductor revenues are expected to be approximately $1.4 billion in 2012, compared to $130 million in 2007." In-Stat's market study found the following: - A multitude of chipset companies completely focused on the Mobile WiMAX market are expected to commercially release products in 2008, including Altair, Amicus, ApaceWave, Comsys, NextWave,

EU Mobile Phone Market Saturation Issues

The UK mobile phone market is approaching an important crossroad. The emergence of a first tier of dominant wireless operators has triggered a tough acquisition and retention war, which is proving costly and unsustainable. Over the coming months it is likely that the UK mobile landscape will change significantly as a result and will enter a new phase of development, according to the latest market assessment by Ovum. The UK was one of the first markets to be liberalized and it is now one of the most competitive. With five MNOs and over 13 MVNOs, it is a fragmented and crowded market. Mobile penetration has reached 118 percent, with connections exceeding 71 million in Q2 2007. ARPU is still high in the UK, but so are acquisition costs, partially because of handset subsidies. The UK is a crowded, competitive and increasingly saturated market. Price decline is a problem in the UK, as in most other saturated markets, but it does not affect operators as much as in other Western European

Need for Mobile Device Managed Services

With the typical enterprise's growing reliance on mobile services to improve productivity and stay competitive, it's creating greater challenges for businesses in managing and supporting their growing mobile device and services portfolios. Mobility management service providers are helping companies meet this challenge. According to a new study from ABI Research the resulting benefits will cause mobility management services revenues to grow at a CAGR of 81 percent through 2013. Principal analyst Dan Shey says, "Through mobile services portfolio optimization, mobility management services are bringing companies monthly cost savings of 30 to 60 percent. But it is the long term benefits of asset management and support services that will cause this industry to grow to over $20 billion worldwide by 2013." Mobility management services include mobile policy development, procurement and asset management services, billing audit and reconciliation services, enhanced customer c

Americans Consume More Flat Panel TVs

For most Americans, flat and thin is preferred. U.S. consumer interest in flat panel televisions has exploded in the past year while demand for bulkier TV technologies -- such as rear projection and CRT -- continues to shrink. For the foreseeable future, the retail and consumer living room landscape will consist primarily of LCD and plasma technologies. More than 60 percent of respondents to a recent IDC survey indicated that, regardless of price, they believed either plasma or LCD was the best technology for screens of 42 inches or larger. "Half of our respondents want to experience this new technology called HD and they're willing to replace their CRTs in droves to do so," said Eric Haruki, research director, TV Markets & Technologies. "More than 35 percent of respondents want to upgrade their existing TV size -- again very likely tied to upgrading from smaller CRTs -- while 30 percent now believe that the time and price is right to make the jump." High

IPTV Drives Fiber Demand in Asia-Pacific

Broadband access in the Asia-Pacific region has experienced significant growth in the past decade, as service providers have upgraded their networks in anticipation of future demand for high-bandwidth services. In a new study focused on residential Fiber to the Home (FTTH) in APAC, ABI Research finds that different markets within the region are currently in very different stages of broadband growth. "While broadband adoption is increasing within APAC, growth is not homogeneous across all countries in the region," says research analyst Serene Fong. For instance, Hong Kong is one of the early adopters of FTTH and has the largest FTTH household penetration, currently 21 percent. On the other hand, countries such as China and India are still struggling to encourage greater broadband usage. For now, most FTTH activity is still in the more developed countries within the region: Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. Generally speaking, broadband penetration in the APAC region is sti

HD Optical Drives Eventually Built in to PCs

The adoption of high definition (HD) optical drives by personal computer (PC) manufacturers and consumers is only just beginning. Nonetheless both Sony -- with its Blu-ray format -- and Toshiba -- with its HD DVD format -- have announced their intentions to include HD drives in all their PC systems. With consumers confused about which format to buy and a relative small number of drives available to computer manufacturers, how rapidly will HD optical drives enter the PC market? "ABI Research expects high-definition drives to bring in revenues of about $2 billion by 2012," says principal analyst Steve Wilson. "Of that, about two-thirds will be accounted for by universal drives, which can play either format. Few universal drives are sold today, partly because of their higher price. But those prices will fall to about the same as Blu-ray players by 2009, and we forecast universal player sales to exceed Blu-ray the following year." The amount of data that must be pro

Ultra Mobile Broadband is Dead on Arrival

The prospects for even moderate adoption of the Qualcomm 4G technology called UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) are dim, according to a new market study from ABI Research. But Qualcomm's intellectual property portfolio is still promising in key enabling technologies for 4G, and the company faces no real threat to its long-term future -- even without successful UMB network rollouts. Again, according to ABI's recent assessment. The technology is expected to be commercially available by mid-2009, but senior analyst Nadine Manjaro, says "No operator has yet announced plans to trial or deploy UMB. Several of the major CDMA operators in the two primary markets are migrating to other technologies. Vendors cannot move forward with development unless their customers commit to trial this technology." WiMAX and LTE have ecosystems in place that offer support. LTE, which is expected to be available around 2010, already has operator commitment from Vodafone and Verizon. WiMAX has im

BSP Product Data Management Systems

Broadband service providers (BSP) that deploy product data management systems to create telco "service factories" will have a better chance of surviving in a next-generation services environment that will feature tens of thousands of unique services, according to the latest market study by Light Reading. Their report details and analyzes the effects that product data management systems will have on the delivery of next-generation telco services. It explores and outlines how network operators are likely to implement product data management systems (PDMSs), and how the PDMS is likely to be integrated into larger frameworks -- such as service delivery platforms (SDPs) and service-oriented architecture (SOA) initiatives. "PDMS is emerging as a linchpin application that network operators can deploy to create a kind of automated telco service factory where customers can configure products with the features they want, much as they can customize a computer order online today,&