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Showing posts from April, 2008

Upside for Consumer Mobile Media Service

Total spending on mobile media services by consumers and advertisers, including web access, video and music products, will more than double -- from almost $47 billion in 2007 to over $102 billion by 2012 -- according to a new Strategy Analytics market study. Strategy Analytics also projects that the population of cellular users engaging in mobile content and applications delivered over cellular networks will ramp from 406 million to over 870 million across the same period. "The combination of falling mobile data pricing, an increasingly open approach from network operators towards partnering with popular consumer media brands, the lowering of barriers to off portal service accessibility and improvements in device usability will lead to an improved environment for mobile content and service adoption , notes Nitesh Patel, Senior Analyst, Global Wireless Practice . Consequently, over the next five years Strategy Analytics projects continued growth in consumer acceptance and

Traditional Wide-Area Data has Flat Growth

In 2008, U.S. Wide Area Network (WAN) wireline data services are projected to see an overall increase of 2 percent from 2007, with the enterprise segment generating 59 percent of revenues, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Looking forward, moderate growth is also projected to continue through 2012. During this period, this market will go through a significant transition as U.S. organizations move from legacy services (frame relay, private line and ATM) to Next Generation Network (NGN) services (IP/MPLS and Ethernet services). NGN services represent the growth area -- although progressing slowly -- in WAN wireline data services for businesses. These services are increasingly utilized by organizations in building their corporate networking infrastructure. Combined, these services provide the building blocks necessary in addressing the progressively more demanding connectivity requirements faced by today's businesses. These include: Support for convergence of voi

Mobile Phone Market Shipment Downturn

The worldwide mobile phone market experienced an expected sequential downturn in shipments following a busy holiday quarter. According to IDC, vendors shipped a total of 291.6 million units during the first quarter of 2008 (1Q08), down 11.6 percent from the 330.8 million units shipped during the previous quarter (4Q07) and up 14.3 percent from the 255.0 million units shipped during 1Q07. While the first quarter results are in line with IDC's 2008 forecast, concerns over the economy may negatively impact handset purchases as the year progresses. "The mobile phone market will be under increased pressure from a number of factors that compete for users' attention and wallets," said Ramon T. Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Device Technology and Trends team. "Disposable income is being eroded by rising food and fuel prices and worries about global financial markets and slow economic growth are creating a cautious outlook for the months ahead.

Home Networking Solutions on the Rise

Spring is in the air, and digital home technologies are blossoming. Home networking penetration worldwide will grow nearly 50 percent from 2006 to 2008, according to the latest market study by Parks Associates. Parks study finds that households with data networking solutions for broadband and file sharing -- totaling 114 million at the end of 2006 -- will reach close to 170 million by the end of 2008, prompted in large part by service provider-led deployments of residential gateway solutions, particularly in Europe. Amid aggressive competition, European broadband providers will have deployed residential gateways to more than 16 million households by the end of 2008, up from 11 million at year-end 2007. "The dual challenge and opportunity for European broadband and bundled services providers are to attract new customers through differentiation of services and retain their existing customers," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst, Parks Associates. &qu

Digital TV Platform and On-Demand Content

Digital distribution of content is growing rapidly across the globe, driven by continued technological enhancements and content industry support. However, key to its long term success will be the development of strong consumer propositions and business models that secure sustainable revenue streams, according to the latest research by Understanding & Solutions. "Looking at the marketplace, broadcast Pay TV currently accounts for close to 50 percent of annual consumer expenditure on entertainment," says Jim Bottoms, co-Managing Director at Understanding & Solutions, "with packaged video, music and games content close behind. However, into the next decade, online will become a major means of distribution, and recent industry activities and consumer take-up are starting to lay the foundations for these revenue streams." Up until recently, most consumers in Europe accessed video content either on DVD or watched traditional linear TV. Yet things have changed, w

Linux OS Solution Growth on Mobile Devices

Linux, which has been much maligned by Symbian and Microsoft as a non-starter in the handset operating system market, is set to see strong growth as issues with framework fragmentation and silicon requirements are alleviated. The growing momentum behind the LiMo Foundation initiative, as well as the marketing boost that has been realized from the entry of Google's Android solution has been further enhanced by Nokia's support of the Maemo solution and its purchase of Trolltech. ABI Research believes that by 2013, nearly one out of every five mid- or high-end mobile devices will use a Linux operating system. ABI Research vice president Stuart Carlaw notes that, "Clever choice of public license support, along with software engineering that isolates proprietary items from open source items, allows operating system vendors to generate revenue from a very cost-effective OS solution." Linux OS solutions will be far more cost-effective than incumbent solutions, even when

A Microsoft Yahoo Merger Doesn't Matter

Microsoft's three-month quest to force themselves upon an unwilling Yahoo! has reached a deadline today. But, in the evolving and Darwinian world of the Global Networked Economy -- does a combined Microsoft-Yahoo really matter? Furthermore, if Yahoo is acquired by Microsoft, then I wonder if the brand-name will survive? In particular, what happens to all those broadband service providers who have closely aligned their consumer online business strategy with the Yahoo brand. An example is the AT&T Yahoo DSL service (previously SBC Yahoo). The thinking behind the partnerships were that telcos understand broadband access, and Yahoo knew how to deliver all the Web services (like email, etc). Ironically, several broadband service providers had previously partnered with Microsoft, and utilized their MSN offerings, only to conclude that they were a poor choice -- when compared to the alternatives. Therefore, with Microsoft potentially gaining influence over Yahoo, will those broadband

Mobile Device Management Service Growth

A very complex mobile value chain and a growing business reliance on mobile products have created the need for services that help businesses maximize the value of their mobile investments. In a recent report from ABI Research, mobile device management (MDM) services are forecast to grow from $583 million in 2007 to over $20 billion by 2013, for a compound annual growth rate of 80 percent. Mobile device management services include policy development, procurement and asset management, billing audit and reconciliation, enhanced customer care, device or content security, and additional services that are vertical- and occupation-specific. According to principal analyst Dan Shey, "The range of services needed to manage a business' mobile investments requires inputs from many different wireless equipment and services providers including operators, MDM platform vendors, IT services providers, telecom expense management firms, and mobility management services firms. All want to be

Mobile Advertising Upside Forecast to $5B

Search engine marketing (SEM) is truly pervasive. Just as search became critical on the desktop, search will become increasingly important in the mobile space. The growth of consumer options to search on-deck and off-deck, SMS, and via branded or white-label search providers in the mobile domain has created opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers through sponsored search opportunities. ABI Research believes mobile search advertising growth will be driven by this escalating array of options, as total search related mobile advertising expands from $813 million in 2008 to $5 billion by 2013. "We are seeing strong growth of mobile search services within an on-portal and off-portal context," says ABI Research director Michael Wolf. "However, given the constraints of mobile platforms and the specific needs of mobile users, mobile search services -- and the integration of advertising -- need to be thought out carefully by branded providers, white-label search vendor

More than 10 Billion Online Videos Viewed

ComScore released February 2008 data indicating that U.S. Internet users viewed more than 10 billion online videos during the month, representing a 3 percent gain versus January -- despite February being two days shorter -- and a 66 percent gain versus February 2007. In February, Google Sites once again ranked as the top U.S. video property with nearly 3.6 billion videos viewed (35.4 percent share of all videos), gaining 1.1 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for 96 percent of all videos viewed at Google Sites. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 586 million videos (5.8 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 293 million (2.9 percent) and Microsoft Sites with 293 million (2.9 percent). Nearly 135 million U.S. Internet users spent an average of 204 minutes per person viewing online video in February. Google Sites also attracted the most viewers (81.8 million), where they spent an average of 109 minutes per person watching video in February. Fox Intera

San Francisco is Top US Broadband Market

Broadband penetration increased more than 300 percent since 2002 in America, according to the latest analysis from Scarborough Research. In 2002, 12 percent of U.S. adults had a broadband connection in their household. Now, a little less than half (49 percent) have broadband -- bringing broadband penetration closer to a mainstream level. In terms of types of broadband connections, DSL connections grew more than cable modems, but both have expanded significantly. Since 2002, cable modem penetration increased 188 percent, while DSL connections increased 575 percent. The data in this analysis is from Scarborough's USA+ database, which is a nationally syndicated consumer study covering a sample of more than 220,000 adults ages 18 and older. San Francisco is the top local U.S. market for broadband penetration according to Scarborough. Sixty-two percent of adults in San Francisco live in a household that has a broadband Internet connection. Other top broadband markets include Boston a

Many Digital Mobile TV Broadcast Standards

Consumers apparently still don't care for mobile TV in the same way that technology vendors do. Moreover, there continues a fragmentation of standards for digital mobile TV broadcasting -- just as we have NTSC, PAL, and SECAM for analog TV -- that appears to be the way of the future, according to In-Stat. In digital mobile TV broadcasting, several standards are being used, several mainly in one country, and that situation is likely to continue in the future, the high-tech market research firm says. The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for mobile TV broadcasting. It provides analysis of mobile TV broadcasting standards and services in several regions. It also contains forecasts of mobile TV broadcast subscribers and viewers, annual average revenue per subscriber (ARPU), and subscriber revenue by region through 2012. That said, I believe that even the lowered global forecasts are still unrealistically optimistic. In-Stat market study found the following: - The mos

Segmentation of Mobile Media Consumers

M:Metrics recently revealed the demographics and size of the audiences for mobile media. Young males are a rich target for mobile advertisers, as 36 percent of 18 to 34-year-old men accessed mobile media in February. Men in this age group are also highly receptive to SMS advertising, with 9 percent responding to an SMS advert they received, versus a 4 percent market average. In Western Europe, the male population is more inclined to browse and download content on the mobile Web. Fully a quarter of all male mobile phone users accessed mobile media, compared to just under 19 percent of women. This audience is also quite young -- 28 percent of 13 to 17-year-olds consume mobile media, only 12 percent of those 55 and older do. "Reaching the 18 to 34-year-old age demographic is areal challenge to advertisers, as this group is spending less time consuming print and broadcast media," observed Paul Goode, senior analyst. According to TGI M:Metrics data, in Great Britain, young co

Bluetooth Finally Gains Momentum in Asia

What's old is now new again, somewhere in the world of wireless possibilities. While Bluetooth has been in the market for almost a decade, it has not proliferated widely in Asia. In terms of consumer awareness, this region still lags behind others. However, the picture is changing, especially when it comes to mobile phone handsets, and a new market study from ABI Research indicates that Bluetooth-enabled equipment shipments in Asia will reach 982 million units in 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent over 2006 shipments. "One of biggest barriers for consumers is cost," says senior analyst Andy Bae. "Consumers in Asia believe that the Bluetooth headset is comparatively expensive -- they also seem to underestimate its voice quality." Bluetooth has achieved its greatest penetration to date in mobile handsets, as mobile operators have demanded continuous support from manufacturers. In South Korea, the penetration rate in mobile phones re

Open-Source Software, Widgets Go Mobile

Open-source software and widgets are going to improve the Web experience on mobile phones. While a large number of phones today still use browsers with very limited web browsing capabilities, many smartphones are incorporating browsers that support the latest capabilities such as AJAX and RSS, as well as websites optimized for viewing on a mobile device. ABI Research sees this segment of the mobile browser market accounting for the vast majority of growth over the next five years, as the open-Internet browser (OIB) segment for mobile grows from 76 million in 2007 to nearly 700 million browsers delivered in 2013. "The focus today for mobile browser developers is to take advantage of the latest web standards while also developing solutions tailored towards the unique experience of using a browser on a mobile phone," says research director Michael Wolf. "The most recent commercial solutions from Opera, Openwave and ACCESS, as well as those using open source solutions suc

IT Vendors Enter the Digital Marketing Era

In its upcoming report on IT vendor marketing and sales investment, and key performance indicators (KPIs), IDC's Executive Advisory Group forecasts a 4 percent increase for the average marketing budget and a 7.9 percent increase for the average sales budget in 2008. These budget increases are the lowest that IDC has forecast in the past four years and will place further pressure on the vendor marketing and sales functions for cost control and productivity increases. Clearly, this is no time for business-as-usual thinking. "Marketers should be prepared to withstand a budget reduction while still being able to keep the core elements of the marketing business model in place and productive," said Michael Gerard, vice president of research for the CMO Advisory Practice and Executive Advisory Group at IDC. "Those technology marketers that continue improving their operations excellence coupled with efficiency of execution will be in a good position to weather this storm.&qu

New Breed of Broadband Service Provider

The success of Internet service providers is driving legacy telecom operators to transform their service-layer architectures and business models to extract a bigger share of revenue from the IP services value chain, according to the latest market study by Light Reading. "Telecom transformation started on the infrastructure side with the disruptive development of all-IP networks, originally designed to make operators more competitive with one another," says Caroline Chappell, research analyst with Light Reading. "But network transformation unleashed the power of the Internet, spawned a new breed of broadband service providers that feeds off it, and created further competition outside the traditional telecom business. These Internet competitors are now forcing telecom operators to look at business transformation." Vendors have largely defined blueprints to support their broad visions for IT transformation, but they are in a race to build out the complete set of SOA

Consumers Without a Landline on the Rise

Use of cell phones is increasing and traditional landline telephone coverage is decreasing. In fact, one in five U.S. adults do not have a landline -- only 79 percent currently do. One in seven adults now uses only their mobile phone. Furthermore, while the use of wireless phones among younger segments of the population has been widely reported, the technology is becoming increasingly popular among older populations as well. Remarkably, about half of U.S. adults who only use a cell phone are 30 or over. One-third of 18 to 29 year olds only use a cell phone or the Internet for making phone calls. The implication: young consumers may never embrace a traditional telco business model. These are some of the results of a special analysis of four surveys conducted online by Harris Interactive. In total 9,132 adults were surveyed in this comprehensive market study. This data was then weighted where necessary to bring it into line with the total population. The Harris market study found th

Virtual Worlds Deliver Escape from Reality

Using research sessions conducted in Boston and London, Strategy Analytics has explored key drivers and motivations likely to expand the adoption of virtual worlds for a wide range of applications. Over 70 percent of participants viewing Second Life for the first time perceive virtual worlds as a great opportunity for escape experiences. Over 75 percent believe virtual worlds are a great way to get an experience of a place. "Virtual worlds are perceived to provide aspects of an experience that a wide range of consumers find compelling, and that aren't available through normal viewing experiences on the Web," said Harvey Cohen, President of Strategy Analytics. "We are actively researching responses from potential users of virtual worlds in order to understand the likely response of current Web users to the new virtual world experience across a range of entertainment, information, socializing, shopping and collaborative applications." In the new Strategy Anal

Personalization of the Entire IPTV Experience

The total number of households worldwide using telco IPTV services grew from 4.7 million in 2006 to exceed 14 million in 2007, according to a new white paper by Parks Associates. The white paper analyzes key television services and offers growth strategies and recommendations for service providers worldwide -- and for Europe in particular. Europe experienced a growth rate of 250 percent between 2006 and 2007 for telco IPTV services, defined as landline-based multichannel and on-demand video services provided by a telephone operator or broadband service provider. "Telco IPTV services provide European operators with a critical toehold in attracting and retaining customers," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst, Parks Associates. "However, IPTV is a small part of a crowded market of terrestrial, satellite, and cable offerings, and the competition will be intense." A key recommendation from the paper is that operators should examine network and

Big Shift in Mobile Phone Technology Base

ABI Research forecasts global GSM subscriber growth to slow from a year-on-year rate of over 22 percent in 2006/07 to 14 percent in 2008/09 -- mainly due to the increased migration of subscribers to UMTS 3G technologies. UMTS (including HSDPA) experienced a nearly 83 percent year-on-year growth rate in 2006/07. ABI Research expects global GSM subscriber numbers to show a negative growth rate starting in 2013, as by then GSM will become less attractive compared to the cheaper 3G services; there will also be losses due to the proliferation of mobile WiMAX and 4G networks. "Within the GSM subscriber population, EDGE is expected to maintain a high growth rate following increased deployments in emerging markets," says Asia-Pacific vice president Jake Saunders. "Nonetheless, GSM (including EDGE and GPRS) is still expected to have the highest number of subscribers of all mobile technologies, with a 70 percent global market share in 2013 (dropping from 78 percent in 2007.)&qu

U.S. Mobile Internet Consumer Landscape

ComScore released the results of a study evaluating the behaviors and attitudes of mobile phone subscribers. The findings are based on a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. wireless cell phone users, providing comprehensive insights into consumer satisfaction, factors influencing purchasing decisions, mobile Internet adoption, and wireless customer migration. The study found that price has become an increasingly important factor in the purchasing decision and that the use of Mobile Internet among existing subscribers continues to grow, with of the majority of these users accessing the Web at least once a day. In order to demonstrate the shifts in the wireless consumer landscape, the findings from this study were compared to results from a similar comScore study conducted in 2006, which included data from more than 1,700 U.S. wireless users. These prior findings were first published by comScore in January 2007. "Overall study results indicate that cellular phones are quickly transiti

Flat-Rate Mobile Leads to Flat-Rate Margins

Mobile operators in the U.S. have begun offering their subscribers flat-rate, unlimited use service pricing plans. These are intended to reduce customer churn and attract new subscribers, and they frequently succeed. But according to ABI Research, operators should beware of the risks such plans pose to their network and backhaul capacity. "Flat rate plans will test the limits of 3G networks, raising new challenges for operators," says senior analyst Nadine Manjaro. "Operators need to pay close attention to the capacity limitations of their 3G networks and the true cost of all-you-can-eat data plans." These challenges affect multiple parts of the networks. Increased usage of SMS can flood the network and impact its ability to deliver voice signaling, which may impact voice calls. Another concern is that unlimited plans may spur text message spamming. Instant Messaging and picture mail usage may also increase under flat rate plans. Unlimited Internet access will h

Mobile Voice and SMS Get No Respect

According to industry research, forecasts predict that 2008 will be the year that the worldwide mobile industry becomes a $1 trillion industry. For an industry to go from zero to a trillion in just 20 years is a staggering achievement, equal to a CAGR of almost 30 percent sustained for 20 years, an achievement previously unequalled by any other industry at any time in human history. 2007 became the year to see worldwide mobile handset shipments exceed 1 billion for the first time, and as 2008 begins so the world also crosses the highly significant 50 percent mobile penetration point, and the industry enters a year where gross industry revenues are set to reach 1 trillion Dollars. According to Portio Research, this is truly an exciting time to be in the mobile and wireless industry. As mobile voice prices have declined and margins have come under intense pressure, network operators have been forced to look at non-voice services to win new customers and boost margins. A wide variety of

Network Storage on Digital Home Networks

With consumer use of digital video and digital music on the rise, and significant penetration of home networks by broadband users, consumers are increasingly considering network storage, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. The consumer network storage market grew at a faster pace in 2007, compared to 2006, and it has more than doubled in the last two years, the high-tech market research firm says. Although competition in this space has increased with more players, sound opportunities can be captured, including NAS, SAN, NDAS, and Windows Home Server platforms. Vendors had been waiting for consumers to catch up with their network storage offerings, but that has begun to change. "However, many consumers are still not familiar with LAN-capable storage products," says Joyce Putscher, In-Stat analyst. "Consumer education is likely to benefit from Windows Home Server (WHS) partners." The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for home network storage

Mobile Data Service Confronts WiFi Hotspot

Sales of mobile data cards, which enable broadband access in portable computers via a service provider's mobile data network, are forecast by Infonetics Research to nearly quadruple between 2007 and 2011, when they will reach $2.9 billion. According to Infonetics' new market study, these mobile data cards could threaten the WiFi hotspot market as HSDPA and EV-DO-based mobile broadband becomes more available, more affordable, and a higher performance choice. However, given that a growing number of public Wi-Fi hotspots already offer free internet access, I would suggest that Wi-Fi still has the clear advantage. "The mobile data services market is becoming more competitive, as mobile operators try to recoup their investments in 3G networks and drive up flattening ARPU (average revenue per user)," said Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX, WiFi and mobile at Infonetics Research. "Currently, mobile data services are generally too expensive for mass market ad

Fear of the Unknown Slows FMC Progress

What's really holding back fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) service deployment? Some analysts believe that it's technology and CPE cost issues, but I'm not convinced. I believe that it's service provider fear of current revenue stream cannibalization causing these delays. U.S. mobile network operators are just now starting to investigate the use of femtocell technology as a way to keep a lid on both backhaul costs and customer churn rates, but first-generation equipment prices are still too high for wide-scale deployment, according to the latest market assessment from Unstrung Insider. "If there's one safe bet regarding femtocells, it's that success or bust, they're guaranteed to go down in telecom history as one of the most-watched and most-hyped wireless technologies ever," notes Tim Kridel, research analyst with Unstrung Insider and author of their report. "Most U.S. service providers and equipment vendors are still trying to figure out wh

Digital Music, 40 Percent of all Sales by 2012

Sales of digital music represented 10 percent of the total worldwide music market in 2007, up from 6 percent in 2006, according to a market study by In-Stat. By 2012, digital music sales will represent an impressive 40 percent of all music purchased worldwide, the high-tech market research firm says. Factors contributing to this growth include the global expansion of broadband, continued demand for single-track downloads, and expanding music catalogs. Another key driver is the potential for market growth in full-track downloads to mobile handsets in markets other than Japan, which currently is the primary market for this type of digital music format. "Digital piracy continues to represent the primary challenge to online music service providers," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. "Other obstacles still include the lack of interoperability between services and devices due to differing digital rights management (DRM) technologies, and weak consumer demand for subs

Consumer Opinion on Behavioral Marketing

How trusting are online American consumers? Clearly, it depends on who you ask. A majority of U.S. adults are skeptical about the practice of websites using information about a person's online activity to customize website content. However, after being introduced to four potential recommendations for improving websites privacy and security polices, U.S. adults become somewhat more comfortable with the websites use of their personal information. These are some of the results of a nationwide survey of 2,513 U.S. adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive . This survey was designed in collaboration with Dr. Alan F. Westin, Professor of Public Law and Government Emeritus at Columbia University, Principal of the Privacy Consulting Group, and a noted authority on privacy issues. The recent market study results included: - A six in ten majority (59 percent) are not comfortable when websites like Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft (MSN) use information about a person's online activity

Mobile Device's Role in Broadband Growth

According to In-Stat's latest market study, successful growth within mobile broadband services requires three components -- users, infrastructure, and devices. The device sits in the middle of the relationship between the user and the network -- shaping how those two interact. For example wireless femtocells will create new service opportunities for carriers that will help them win new subscribers. What is going on at the device level for 3G and WiMAX plays a major role in the type of services consumers will see in the future, reports the high-tech market research firm. "Two of the biggest device trends in the cellular industry are dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi phones and femtocells," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. "This trend can change how operators sell both voice and data services." The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for mobile services. It provides analysis of forecasts for mobile devices across 3G, WiMAX, and Wi-Fi. The ways in which dev

Europeans Ready for Software as a Service

In a recent IDC end-user survey of 2,077 IT decision makers in organizations with more than 20 employees in Western Europe, 37 percent of respondents said they would invest in software as a service (SaaS) in the next 24 months to replace or supplement the functionality of existing ERP solutions. Regarding CRM solutions, 35 percent said they would replace or supplement existing solutions in 24 months; 32 percent said they would do so for supply chain management (SCM) solutions. These positive and ambitious spending indications by Western European end users were not limited to a particular country or company size segment -- they highlight a positive attitude across all segments. Large enterprises were most positive about ERP solutions, while for CRM solutions midsize companies lead in SaaS spending plans. By country, Spain and Italy are more bullish than the U.K., Germany, and France when it comes to SaaS. "We were somewhat surprised that European end users are so positive when

Mobile Phone In-Building Wireless Systems

ABI Research forecasts worldwide deployment revenues from in-building wireless systems to grow from $3.8 billion in 2007 to more than $15 billion in 2013. Drivers for this tremendous growth include consumer's growing dependence on wireless voice and messaging communications, as well as an increasingly competitive mobile operator environment. But underlying all demand drivers is a fundamental connectivity issue. According to principal analyst Dan Shey, "The higher frequencies used by 3G technologies impose limits on wireless coverage inside buildings based on current cell site distributions. The business case is made for deployment of in-building wireless systems because mobile data services are capturing a greater share of subscriber's mobile phone services spend." But every region and operator has a different set of network technologies, competitive conditions and cell phone usage. Fortunately for the owners of in-building systems, which include businesses, operat

Worldwide WLAN Equipment Market Upside

Worldwide sales of wireless LAN equipment, including independent and dependent access points and WLAN switches and controllers, reached $1.9 billion in 2007, up 20 percent from 2006, driven by the increased rollout of enterprise wireless LANs and accelerating upgrading to 802.11n, according to the Infonetics Research latest market study. Sales of enterprise single mode Wi-Fi phones also jumped, up 61 percent in 2007, as adoption of wireless VoIP continued to penetrate the enterprise market, their report shows. Wireless LAN is becoming an increasingly ubiquitous technology and is commonly embedded into laptops, PDAs, phones, game consoles, and media adapters. Its widespread availability, affordability, flexibility and usage will make it an important technology even as other high speed wireless technologies like 3.5G and mobile WiMAX come to the fore. Additionally, WiFi-enabled smartphones like the iPhone and RIM's WiFi Blackberry will significantly increase WiFi hotspot traffic.

Why iPhone is the Ultimate Multimedia Device

Six months after the U.S. launch of the Apple iPhone, has the device changed the mobile landscape? According to the M:Metrics market assessment the answer is absolutely. The research firm reports that the iPhone is already the most popular device for accessing news and information on the mobile Web, with 85 percent of iPhone users accessing news and information in the month of January. "The iPhone has certainly delivered on its hype," said Mark Donovan, senior analyst, M:Metrics. "Beyond a doubt, this device is compelling consumers to interact with the mobile Web, delivering off-the-charts usage from everything to text messaging to mobile video." M:Metrics found that a staggering 30.9 percent of iPhone owners watched mobile TV or video, versus a 4.6 market average, and more than double the rate for all smartphone users. Usage of social networking is also popular among iPhone users -- 49.7 percent accessed a social networking site in January, nearly twelve times

Television and Video Consumer Preference

In December of 2007 ABI Research conducted an online survey of 1002 television and video consumers in the United States. Its aim was to measure the American consumer viewing, content and service purchasing habits or preferences -- information of critical importance to all members of today's video entertainment value chain. While the survey draws no single conclusion and does not generalize about typical TV or video consumption, it reveals some surprising facts about viewer's attitudes and activities. A full 66 percent subscribe to some form of pay-TV service, and of those, 60 percent receive at least one additional service (telephone, Internet etc.) from their provider. However, only 54 percent of respondents declared themselves satisfied overall with their providers -- pricing and customer service are the biggest sources of discontent. But Janet Wise, director of primary research for ABI, notes that given that nearly 30 percent of all respondent reasons for choosing their pro

PC Shipments Forecast to Grow 7.4 Percent

Worldwide PC shipments are projected to grow by 12.8 percent in 2008 to reach 302 million units, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Growth will continue at above 11 percent in 2009 followed by high single-digit growth through 2012, boosting annual shipments to over 426 million in 2012. Overall volume growth, combined with a steady transition to Portable PCs, which generally cost more than Desktops, will help offset falling average prices. The total value of PC shipments is projected to grow by 7.4 percent in 2008 to nearly $280 billion. Shipment value will continue to grow by roughly 4 percent annually from 2009 through 2012, reaching nearly $330 billion by 2012. Portable adoption remains the primary driver in all regions, nearly matching record quarterly growth in Q3 2007, and record annual growth in 2005. Increases of more than 50 percent in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) and Rest of World helped boost these regions to more than 36 percent of Portable volume, wh

Demand for Gadget Content Personalization

The demand for mobile consumer electronics gadgets is entering a new phase of growth. As consumers continue to demand content personalization and portability in their electronics products, steady shipment growth of portable consumer devices is expected through 2011, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. The markets for digital radio receivers, edutainment toys, portable media players, and portable navigation devices will all thrive over the next five years, the high-tech market research firm says. "The most noticeable trends in these categories are the continued expansion of features, such as portable media players that can access the Internet, as well as the potential threat mobile phones pose to standalone personal navigation devices and personal media players," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for portable consumer electronics. It offers an overview of worldwide demand for digital radio receivers, eduta

Wireless Next-Generation Network Inertia

The current state of the wireless Next-Generation Network (NGN) market is directly related to the success of incumbent carriers, or the total lack of any meaningful competition that would otherwise upset the status quo, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Those carriers that are content with the status quo are less inclined to take risks, and tend to limit their investment in NGN, the high-tech market research firm says. Most operators that have committed to a rapid NGN migration have done so because of adverse market conditions. "In 2007, only a few IMS equipment supply contracts were announced," says Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst. "Most were greenfield deployments, or point solutions supporting VoIP, or IP Centrex." In-Stat's research entitled "NGN Drivers and Inhibitors in the Global Market" covers the worldwide market for wireless Next-Generation Networks. It examines the current state of NGN development and explores the reasons why op

Vertical Markets for WiMAX Service Providers

According to the latest market study by Senza Fili, the attention of WiMAX operators is on both business and residential subscribers. Will they embrace mobile broadband with the same enthusiasm they have shown for cellular voice? How much are they willing to pay for it? Which devices will they use? Most of the business models employed by WiMAX operators do not prioritize -- or even contemplate -- vertical markets such as transportation, utilities, health, education, safety. In fact these sectors are often seen as a distraction or a niche. Many operators devote all their resources to the business and consumer markets and plan to address vertical markets on an as-needed basis, or at a later stage when the network is completed and business and consumer acquisition is well under way. Vertical players have just started to assess the WiMAX opportunity and still have to quantify the potential cost benefits and performance advantages, as few commercial WIMAX networks are available to conduct

PCs to Have a Role in Digital Living Room

While a multitude of non-PC devices will play a role in the connected living room of the future, that doesn't means the PC will fade away. In fact, according to a new study from ABI Research, PCs are destined to play an ever-increasing role in the management, distribution and playback of multimedia content in the home -- with both network-connected PC media servers and in-living room PCs growing in adoption over time. Both AV form factor home theater PCs and more traditional home theater PCs will grow to an installed base worldwide of 25 million by 2013. "There are two primary ways the PC can be incorporated into the digital living room," says principal analyst Steve Wilson. "One has a PC directly connected to a client device, a home theater PC, or in the form of a PC integrated with a display. The other involves using an embedded client to extend the PC output to a TV." Microsoft's bundling of the Media Center application with Vista will help solidify th