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Showing posts from June, 2008

Businesses Adopting SP Managed Services

According to the Synergy Research Group, in the first quarter of 2008 worldwide total managed WAN CPE and network-based services sales posted a 4.9 percent increase of $1.4 billion and are projected to continuing growing throughout the year. The growth in the managed services market is fueled by businesses worldwide turning to service providers for managed metro Ethernet, IP VPNs, managed IP voice and IP security requirements. Enterprises are revamping their business models to increase their revenue, recognizing that their IT and networks are a critical component of their business profits. Additionally, they recognize that outsourcing their network management to service providers is one way to improve their business success and bottom line. Companies such as Cisco, Juniper and Alcatel-Lucent are working to educate service providers about the huge market in managed services and of the importance of providing end-to-end services for these businesses. Ray Mota, Chief Research Officer at S

Demand for SaaS is Spread Across Verticals

Demand for software as a service (SaaS) business applications in the U.S. commercial sector is growing at a steady pace across all sizes of business and vertical markets, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Based upon their current assessment, steadily increasing U.S. hosted application revenues -- from $8 billion in 2008 to $16 billion by 2012 -- are expected, the high-tech market research firm says. "The main benefits of hosted applications that resonate across vertical markets are scalability, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and remote accessibility," says Jeff Jernigan, In-Stat analyst. "Also, the need for IT support for business applications is greatly minimized if not eliminated due to the centralized, vendor-supported management of the application." Their research covers the U.S. market for SaaS. It explores the drivers and inhibitors for adoption, as well as whom respondents would turn to for more information about these applications. Survey data

Opportunity for Consumer Managed Services

Parks Associates explored the implications of high-speed connections and the exponential growth of digital devices within U.S. homes, at the kickoff to their Connections conference. Their session on this topic featured analysis of the digital living industry and focused on trends in broadband and access services, video delivery, online content services, advertising, digital health, and in-home systems. "The percentage of U.S. households with broadband exceeded 50 percent in 2007," according to Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst. "By 2012, over 33 million U.S. households will have connections of 10 Mbps or more. As households add bandwidth, there is greater capacity for more devices and services, adding to the rich but complicated equation for digital living." Consumer habits in entertainment are changing in accordance with this surfeit of new devices and services. As of 2007, 50 percent of U.S. Internet households were watching short video clips onlin

Worldwide Mobile Data Services Bonanza

According to Portio Research, in 2007 wireless operators worldwide generated more than $800 billion in mobile revenues. This is expected to reach $1,094.9 billion by year-end 2012, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 6.4 percent. The $1-trillion mark is expected to be reached by year-end 2011. Although a rapidly growing subscriber base has led to growth in revenue for the mobile phone services industry, operator margins have shrunk over the years. Operators worldwide, faced with declining average revenue per user (ARPU) due to falling voice tariffs, are now looking at ways to counter smaller margins by building alternative revenue streams through mobile data services. Voice services still make up the lion's share of mobile services revenues -- in 2007, voice services accounted for approximately 81 percent of operator's total mobile service revenues worldwide. However, with an ever increasing focus on non-voice mobile services, this figure is fore

China Overtakes Japan as Digital TV Leader

The latest market study from Informa Telecoms & Media shows that more than a third of TV homes in the Asia-Pacific region will receive digital signals in 2013, up from just 13 percent at the end of 2007. The 12th edition of Informa's Asia Pacific TV report shows that China overtook Japan as the biggest digital market during 2007 and will continue to increase in importance by accounting for more than half of the region's digital total by 2013. Adam Thomas, author of the report, said: "China's sheer size makes it the region's most eye-catching market, but there has been progress pretty much everywhere. At the end of last year the region had 75 million homes receiving digital signals." This is more than ten-times the 2001 figure and paves the way for even greater expansion over the next five years. Informa expects the number of digital homes to be approaching 250 million by 2013. Informa's report forecasts that the Asia-Pacific region will boast 676 milli

Cable Modem Termination System Growth

Infonetics Research reports that cable modem termination system (CMTS) revenue jumped 36 percent sequentially in the first quarter of 2008 -- to $279 million -- making 1Q08 the largest single quarter on record. The Infonetics reports demonstrates that downstream and upstream CMTS port shipments also hit an all-time quarterly high. Universal edge QAM (UEQ) revenue and channel shipments are also up in 1Q08. 2008 is on track to be a banner year for the cable broadband aggregation hardware market, as cable TV operators look to DOCSIS 3.0 to fend off residential FTTx offerings from telco incumbents and competitive providers, and as they launch new services targeting the small and medium business (SMB) accounts of incumbent local exchange carriers. "The first quarter was driven by strong performance by Cisco, whose CMTS port shipments jumped 64 percent sequentially," said Mark Showalter, directing analyst for broadband networks at Infonetics Research. Highlights from the Infonetics

Challenges for Fixed Mobile Convergence

The benefits of seamless roaming between wireline and wireless networks is gaining some momentum, but many challenges remain before Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is widely deployed, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Chief among these challenges is finding a compelling business case for most wireless carriers, who view FMC as a contra-revenue threat, the high-tech market research firm says. "This is clearly the case in the U.S., with the exception of T-Mobile, which has primarily been focused on the consumer market," says David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst. "In-Stat believes communications industry leaders will not be dissuaded by lagging felt need for FMC solutions by businesses, and will aim to develop compelling solutions that, once experienced, will lead to viral adoption over the next several years." The research analyzes current and planned adoption of various FMC solutions and discusses how industry market leaders will not be dissuaded by lagging f

Wireless High-Definition TV on the Horizon

Wireless technologies are deployed everywhere. We've got wireless phones, wireless Internet and wireless home networks. Next, coming to a living room or commercial facility near you, is wireless high-definition television (HDTV). However, the market is still in its incubation stage, with fewer than 100,000 devices expected to ship this year. According to a market study by ABI Research, optimistic forecasts point to 2012 as the earliest year for the milestone of one million wireless HDTV installations worldwide. Meanwhile, a battle of technologies is being fought. There are three contending wireless systems, loosely characterized as 5 GHz, 60 GHz, and ultra wideband (UWB). "5 GHz technology is better understood and more proven," says ABI principal analyst Steve Wilson, "but achieving the required data rates requires new approaches and more complex solutions. UWB technology has bandwidth advantages at in-room distances but drops rapidly at greater ranges. 60 GHz allows

Global Upside for Digital Asset Management

Global revenue from digital asset management (DAM) solutions is expected to triple by 2013, according to the latest market study by ABI Research. The research, which also covers conditional access and broadband video markets, indicates marked differences in adoption rates and market growth between the major industrialized regions, North America, Europe and Asia. "Certain common factors affect the growth of conditional access, digital asset management, and broadband video across all regions," says industry analyst Zippy Aima. "There is the recent proliferation of digital media content, especially video, and the rise of portable devices for viewing it. We can add the widespread availability of broadband data services to distribute it, and the need for systems that can store and deliver that content to the right people at the right time." Beyond those common drivers, however, differences emerge. In North America, the conditional access market is quite mature, and reven

Online Advertising Revenues Continue Surge

The current economy has not affected U. S. Internet advertising spending -- total revenue increased by 23.9 percent to $7.1 billion in the first quarter (1Q08) compared to $5.7 billion in 1Q07. IDC expects Internet advertising to continue to expand rapidly during 2008 even though advertising spending across all media will most likely be cut back. Google continued to extend its leadership position in the U. S. Internet advertising market in the first quarter. Its domestic net revenue continued to grow faster year over year than most other players, even as its growth rate continued to decline as the company's major market, search advertising, continues to mature. Gogle's estimated net U. S. advertising market share was 24.8 percent in 1Q08, up from 23.1 percent in 1Q07. "What happens is that the current economic crisis puts pressure on advertisers to save money and find more effective marketing channels," said Karsten Weide, program director, Digital Marketplace and New

Radio Programs Will Invade Mobile Phones

Your local Auto Dealership radio adverts could be making their way to your mobile phone, mixed with a little music. A report from the National Association of Broadcasters outlines this result, from an anticipated increase in the penetration of FM radio receivers in American cell phones. Their market study concludes that cell phone service providers, radio broadcasters, and handset manufacturers all stand to benefit from the expansion of FM-capable cell phones, a platform that could reach 257 million American subscribers. "Radio is a service that already reaches 235 million American listeners every week,"said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr. "With 257 million cell phones currently in service, we're confident that implementation of a new FM-radio feature would result in rapid penetration, benefiting not only the radio business and American consumers, but the cell phone, electronics manufacturing, and music industries as well." The report, commissioned by the N

U.S. Consumer Eyes Drifting Away from TV

According to an Ipsos market study, the percentage of video consumed on a TV -- among online video downloaders and streamers -- declined from 75 percent in February 2007 to 70 percent in February 2008. A significant drop in overall share of "screen time" with the growing contingent of digital video consumers. In addition, the percentage of total screen time captured by movie theaters also declined significantly in the past year, mirroring an overall trend Ipsos has witnessed in traditional video consumption. Ipsos believes that streaming video online has become an activity many Americans aren't just experimenting with, but enjoy on a regular basis. Today, about half of all Internet users aged 12 and up have streamed a video file online in the past 30 days. Furthermore, it's caused many to adopt the PC as a primary channel they rely on for video entertainment. Overall screen time for the PC has nearly doubled its overall share with digital video consumers since early i

Legacy Broadband Services Migrate to NGN

A recent survey of U.S. organizations with over 50 employees and multiple locations, shows that legacy services remain a dominant component of the WAN telecom landscape, with 62 percent of the organizations surveyed currently having legacy networks, according to an In-Stat study. But closer analysis reveals that this segment is in the process of a significant transition, the high-tech market research firm says. A majority of respondents to the survey who currently use legacy services are migrating or planning to migrate, some or all of their legacy networks to other WAN services. "It is important to note that this does not represent an overnight, wholesale migration away from legacy services," says Steve Hansen, In-Stat analyst. "Further analysis of survey results indicates that, as a rough average, respondents are planning to migrate approximately one quarter of their legacy sites to other services over the next 12 months." The In-Stat research covers the U.S. mark

Digital Home Gateway Shipments to Double

Infonetics Research reported that the worldwide broadband customer premises equipment (CPE) market -- which includes DSL and cable modems, residential gateways, voice terminal adapters, and voice CPE -- sequentially dropped 9 percent in 1Q08, to $1.1 billion. The Infonetics market study report indicates the quarterly drop is in line with normal first quarter softness, and that revenue for some emerging segments in the market, such as cable broadband gateways and very high speed DSL (VDSL) broadband gateways, grew sequentially in double and triple percents. "Softness in 1Q08 broadband CPE was in line with expectations except that standard cable modems had a larger decline in the quarter than usual," said Mark Showalter, directing analyst for broadband networks at Infonetics Research. "Service providers continue to use bundled CPE with advanced functionality to entice subscribers into long term contracts for broadband access." Infonetics' broadband CPE report prov

PC Growth Fueled by New Portable Adoption

Worldwide PC shipments are projected to grow by 15.2 percent in 2008 to reach 310 million units, according to IDC. Growth will remain in double-digits through 2010, followed by high single-digit growth through 2012, boosting annual shipments to over 472 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 9.6 percent in 2008 to more than $286 billion. Shipment value will continue to grow by 5-6 percent annually from 2009 through 2012, reaching nearly $354 billion by 2012. Following years of strong growth, Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) surpassed the United States as the region with the largest PC market in total annual shipments at the end of 2007. At the same time, Rest Of World (ROW) – composed of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Canada -- is not far behind. ROW led ot

Long Wait for Long Term Evolution Networks

Hurry up, and wait. Despite the fact that no Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is expected to be commercial before 2010, ABI Research forecasts that by 2013 there will be more than 32 million subscribers using LTE networks. Three of the largest mobile operators -- China Mobile, Vodafone and Verizon Wireless -- have all announced plans to adopt LTE. Asia-Pacific countries will account for the largest regional share. "ABI anticipates about 12 million Asia-Pacific LTE network subscribers in 2013," says senior analyst Nadine Manjaro. "The remainder will be split about 60-40 percent between Western Europe and North America." According to the ABI market study, LTE commitments from NTT DoCoMo and KDDI in Japan will further boost adoption. However, the long wait for the Chinese government to issue 3G licenses may become a factor driving LTE in that country. "It wouldn't surprise me to see some operators skip over 3G and go straight to LTE," says Manjaro. "

GSM Still Growing at the Expense of CDMA

A recent report published by Dell'Oro Group revealed that although GSM was not the largest contributor to the growth of the total mobility infrastructure market during the first quarter of 2008, it grew nearly 10 percent over the year ago quarter. Driving the growth of the GSM market was the second largest number ever of base station shipments, exceeded only by the previous quarter, and the stabilization of equipment prices. "For the first time, Asia Pacific represented over half of all GSM revenue," stated Scott Siegler, Analyst of Mobility Infrastructure research at Dell'Oro Group. "Business in this highly price-sensitive region has resulted in double-digit quarter to quarter price reductions for the previous three quarters. Over these past several quarters, ASP's were pushed downward as vendors sold equipment at exceptionally steep discounts in order to establish and expand their footprint in the region." This quarter, in contrast, vendors became more

Virtual World Adoption Still Small in Reality

Strategy Analytics released a forecast of virtual world adoption, which shows that over the next ten years 22 percent of global broadband users will have registered for one or more virtual worlds. This will result in a market approaching one billion registrants and an eight billion dollar services opportunity. Their study projects a diversified global market with services targeted at children, teens and adults across a wide range of applications. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of virtual world registrants actually become active users. However, this figure is projected to increase to 27 percent of users by 2017. Virtual worlds, such as Sulake's Habbo Hotel, have registered nearly 100 million registrants, and it has 10 million unique monthly visitors, while Linden Lab's Second Life has a similar pattern, with 12 million registrants and about one million active users. The research indicates that virtual worlds represent a massive activity that is growing in Asia, the Americas an

Subs Want More from Wireless Broadband

Wireless broadband in all its forms -- fixed, portable, and mobile -- gives service providers a way to grow revenues as voice revenue growth slows, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Based on survey data collected by the high-tech market research firm, WiMAX provides the right mix of features and pricing to appeal to consumer subscribers. Business users on the other hand will provide more of a challenge to WiMAX operators, primarily based on the business users need for ubiquitous coverage. "While early WiMAX network coverage will not be as large as 3G cellular, it will be adequate to appeal to consumers," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. When respondents were presented with service examples and picked the one they most preferred, the one representing WiMAX was picked more than two-to-one over the one representing 3G cellular data. Service descriptions include information on coverage, network performance, pricing, and usage limitations. The research covers t

Top Ten Online Video Destinations for Kids

Nielsen Online announced that based upon their latest market study, per person children consumed more streams than those over 18 and spent more time watching online video from home in April. Kids 2-11 viewed an average of 51 streams and 118 minutes of online video per person during the month, while teens 12-17 viewed an average of 74 streams and 132 minutes of online video. Those over 18 viewed an average of 44 streams and 99 minutes of online video. The top 10 online video destinations for kids 2-11 and teens 12-17 demonstrate that kids pursue similar interests both online and off. Younger children gravitate towards sites associated with well-known children's toys and TV programming, while teens go online to watch music videos, movie trailers and clips of other visitors. Disney Records led online video destinations among kids 2-11 when ranked by unique viewer composition percent, with 50 percent. and MyePets followed with 48 percent each. Stickam was the top onl

GPS Window of Opportunity May be Closing

Worldwide shipments of GPS-integrated mobile devices will grow at an annualized rate of nearly 40 percent over the next five years, reaching 834 million units in 2012, according to a market study by Parks Associates. Their latest report looks at a variety of mobile devices, including personal navigation devices (PNDs), mobile handsets and smartphones, portable media players, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Mobile handsets and smartphones will constitute the majority of shipments up to 2012, but PNDs will remain the most widely used and preferred navigation choice in the next three years, said Harry Wang, senior analyst, Parks Associates. "GPS will come to your mobile handset as a standard feature, but mobile carriers are still a couple of years away from turning GPS into a money-making, mass-market feature," Wang said. Currently, consumers prefer PNDs thanks to the combination of a bigger screen, more versatile functions, and new lower pricing. Therefore, I've won

Business Innovation, more Like an Oxymoron

There seems to be an endless thirst for insights into innovation, to the point where the word has joined the ranks of a cliche. But behavioral contradictions among executives hamstring this apparent strategic thrust, according to an assessment by Forrester. Fact: top executives say one thing and do another. Executives know they want more innovation. The term seems so well understood that surveys don't bother to define it. In McKinsey's 2007 "Global Survey on Innovation," 70 percent of corporate leaders named innovation among their top three priorities for driving growth. Yet, only one-third of top managers named it as part of their leadership team's regular agenda. And, where do they focus? In IBM's 2006 CEO study, CEOs ranked business model innovation -- a new way to interact with customers or partners -- higher than product or service innovation because it can boost profits without extensive time and physical plant costs. Unfortunately, firms don't emph

Will Telcos Integrate Ads Across Screens?

Mobile advertising interest is developing worldwide, but revenues aren't likely to reach any significant volume until 2010, as market participants continue to wrestle with formats, standards, and pricing strategies, according to the latest study by Heavy Reading. "Mobile advertising offers some significant advantages over other media, but also has some limitations," says Aditya Kishore, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading. "Before selecting mobile as an ad medium, advertisers, vendors, and carriers will need to identify the objectives of their ad campaign, the requirements of the creative products and cost, and the responses required." Once technology and business model issues are worked out, mobile advertising revenues will show significant and sustained long-term growth worldwide, Kishore says, adding that mobile network operators stand to gain a large percentage of the mobile ad revenue stream. Mobile advertising offers carriers the greatest opportunity to inse

Major Shifts in Telecom Growth, Not Pay-TV

Revenue from consumer telecommunication network services will grow at a steady annual rate of about 5.7 percent, on average, over the next five years, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. The strongest growth will be in the broadband and pay-TV sectors, but 60 percent of total revenue will be derived from consumer mobile services, the high-tech market research firm says. In-Stat just completed some new research and aggregated it with a wealth of existing research to produce a detailed quantitative analysis of this important market. "The digital divide will continue to grow. By 2012 broadband penetration in developed countries will exceed 85 percent, while developing countries languish at less than 10 percent penetration" says Keith Nissen, the analyst who authored the report. Over the next five years, 150 million PSTN lines will be eliminated -- yet total voice revenue worldwide will remain steady. The ME/AFR and CALA regions will experience high mobile subscriber

Pay-as-You-Go European Pay-TV Innovation

With analog broadcast television services about to shut-down forever, a growing number of Western Europeans are opting for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) as a replacement. Most DTT services are free-to-air (FTA) services, with no subscription and minimal hardware requirements -- in the UK, for example, DTT set-top boxes are available for as little as 10 pounds, or just under $20. However, pay-DTT in particular is carving out a niche in competition with other pay-TV offerings from cable and telco service providers in some markets. A new market study by ABI Research finds that DTT's market potential varies widely from country to country. "Some pay-DTT providers are positioning their service as a kind of halfway house between free-to-air services and other forms of pay-TV," says senior analyst Cesar Bachelet. "They offer all the regular FTA programs, plus some premium content at an attractive price." Italy is expected to show the strongest growth in DTT over

Future Winner of Mobile TV Market is Unclear

Third generation (3G) mobile TV services may complement or compete with mobile TV broadcasting, depending on the entertainment market savvy of the mobile phone network operator, according to the latest study by In-Stat. While mobile phone operators can rely on their own network and offer more channels via 3G mobile TV streaming services, the video quality may not be as consistent as with other forms of proven mobile TV technology, the high-tech market research firm says. "The 3G mobile TV service is only available to those with 3G handsets and plans, so 3G mobile TV services cannot be offered to the entire subscriber base, unlike a mobile TV broadcast service," says Michelle Abraham. So, uptake in 3G mobile TV is dependent on an increase in the number of 3G subscribers -- and there's the problem. Today, 3G penetration is far less than 50 percent for most operators, with 3G mobile TV penetration of 3G subscribers below 10 percent for many mobile operators. Steady growth is

Expectations for Service Delivery Platforms

Infonetics Research predicts that worldwide revenue from service delivery platform (SDP) software and integration services will grow at a 23 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the 5 years from 2007 to 2011. Their report confirms that while many SDP vendors are struggling to define and position their SDP products, demand for them by mobile and fixed line telecom service providers is escalating rapidly. SDPs develop, provision, and deploy new subscriber services across wireline and wireless networks by combining discrete services into compound services, reducing the time it takes operators to integrate new services from many months to about 2 weeks, the report says. "Service delivery platforms are fundamental to a telco's future. Without an upgrade to their service creation and provisioning process, telcos will quickly lose revenue to over-the-top Internet content providers (ICPs) like Google and Yahoo, making their enormous transport and access network upgrades obs

Explosive Growth of U.S. Internet Advertising

Internet advertising in the U.S. will continue to grow fast even as the current economic woes will lead to a contraction in ad spending overall -- essentially accelerating the transfer of marketing budgets from traditional media into new digital media. During the forecast period, Internet advertising will grow about eight times as fast as advertising at large. IDC finds overall Internet advertising revenue will double from $25.5 billion in 2007 to $51.1 billion in 2012. The Internet will go from the number 5 medium all the way to the number 2 medium in just 5 years -- making it bigger than newspapers, bigger than cable TV, bigger even than broadcast TV, and second only to direct marketing. Video advertising will be the principal disruptor of Internet advertising over the next five years by attracting the most new marketing dollars. Its revenue will grow sevenfold from $0.5 billion in 2007 to $3.8 billion in 2012 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49.4 percent. This growth will

Demand for Enterprise Rights Management

Enterprise Rights Management (ERM) is growing in importance, driven by a need for better security. A few examples make the compelling business case. A US government consultant accessed the passwords of 38,000 FBI employees. The UK's department of Revenue and Customs lost discs containing personal information of 25 million Britons. Laptops containing sensitive data -- in one case the Social Security numbers of up to 26 million US military veterans -- seem to be lost or stolen with alarming regularity. On this backdrop, a new study by ABI Research addresses the market for information security in the enterprise. "The confidential data held by businesses and other organizations has never been more critical or less secure, especially in light of the trend to outsourcing and off-shoring," says ABI Research industry analyst Zippy Aima. "Until recently, many companies were rather unaware of the need for higher security. Now, however, the consequences of data loss -- compromi

Global Mobile Advertising Market Upside

The mobile advertising industry has become consumed by short term hurdles and must focus on long-term strategic issues, according to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media. Informa forecasts that the global mobile advertising market will be worth $12.09 billion by 2013. In 2008 mobile advertising will be worth $1.72 billion, with 80 percent generated by the mobile content providers. "The mobile content market is creating the mobile advertising opportunity, while the big brands remain skeptical about the return on investment that will justify the premium rate card already associated with this emerging medium," says report author Nick Lane. "The situation will change, but the plethora of companies looking to get a slice of the revenues must remain patient. Releasing the big brand's spend is key to unlocking the potential of mobile advertising." The report claims the majority of early-adopter big brands are yet to transfer more than 0.5 percent of

BSPs Networking Set-Top Boxes Together

Broadband service providers are moving toward networking their set-top boxes together, and they're looking for existing-wire networking solutions (alternatives to Ethernet) for WAN access and in-home LAN nodes, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Approximately 90 percent of all U.S. homes have at least one coax cable outlet, while almost 99 percent have one or more telephone wall jack, and 37 percent have at least one Ethernet cable outlet, the high-tech market research firm says. As a result, the number of North American households with in-home provider network nodes over coax or phone wiring will climb dramatically from 2007 through 2009. "The cost of deployment is the primary driver behind the use of existing residential wiring," says Joyce Putscher, In-Stat analyst. "Although, providers realize that the condition of, age of, and the way coax and phone wiring has been installed in some residences may still necessitate installation of some wiring runs.

Mobile Social Networks for All Generations

Accessing social networks while mobile are quite popular with the Millennial generation, just as social networking at the desktop is, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Blogging, photo and video sharing, location-based socialization services, games, SMS, and IM will eventually be combined to afford the mobile user the entire social networking experience from a handset application, the high-tech market research firm says. The mobile handset will simply become an extension of the user in most aspects of life. That is, if it hasn't already. Certainly, in the Asia-Pacific region, it seems that it has. "The critical issue most mobile social networking site and application developers struggle with is how to make money with their services," says Jill Meyers, In-Stat analyst. "There are three primary methods of revenue generation for mobile social networking applications -- advertising, subscription services, and premium upgrades." Last year's introduc

415 Million Broadband Subscribers Globally

Worldwide broadband subscriptions will reach 415 million in 2008, representing one billion discrete broadband users, according to the latest market study by Strategy Analytics. The number of broadband subscriptions will continue to grow to 621 million by 2012. While DSL remains the dominant access technology, accounting for two-thirds of worldwide subscriptions, newer access technologies are taking hold. "Fiber and WiMax will increasingly displace traditional broadband access technologies, such as DSL and Cable," said Ben Piper, Director at Strategy Analytics. "This phenomenon is punctuated by the Asia-Pacific region, where WiMax is expected to grow from 4.8 million subscriptions in 2008 to 23 million by 2012." Worldwide, broadband service revenues will increase from $130 billion in 2008 to $190 billion in 2012, with Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America leading the way. This represents a 10.8 percent CAGR (2008-2012). Globally, broadband ARPUs are expected to re

SMS Mobile Ads Preferred by Consumers

A new Harris Interactive study on people's attitudes toward the economy and technology reveals that over one-third of U.S. consumers say the dire economy will not affect their spending habits. The majority (60 percent) of consumers who will now limit their discretionary spending will curtail going out to restaurants (74 percent) and limit their purchase of electronics (71 percent), among other choices like buying fewer clothes and taking fewer vacations. One shining light for marketers interested in reaching fickle consumers during this economic downturn is the finding that a significant number of consumers (41 percent) have no plans to stop or cut-back on the purchase of cell phones. Moreover, engaging a consumer's attention through their mobile devices is seen as an increasingly viable advertising channel. To many, it seems the use of mobile phones has become an indispensable part of their lives. According to a new study from the National Center for Health Statistics, 16 perc

Home Net Users Need Simplicity, by Design

Consumers are moving beyond basic PC-to-PC digital home networks as they look to connect new devices to their network -- to access and share the growing array of digital content from the Internet, as well as from their own digital media devices. While just a few years ago most consumer networks had only PCs on them, the growth in non-PC devices on the network has been significant. In a survey of online households in the United States, ABI Research has found that over 26 percent had a game console connected to their home network, 10 percent had a network storage device, and another 8 percent had some form of set-top box connected to their home network. "The growth in non-PC devices on the home network continues as consumers look to access digital entertainment and community services being deployed over the Internet," says research director Mike Wolf. "The growth in streaming music services such as Rhapsody, the positioning of popular video services such as YouTube for non

Sluggish Cellular Modems Experience Growth

Boosted by very slow advancing 3G network deployment momentum, cellular modems are providing wireless connectivity to laptops, UMPCs and even desktop computers. Moreover, 2007 data contained in a new market study from ABI Research reveals that cellular modem sales, including PC Cards, Express Cards, USB modems, embedded modems and 3G/Wi-Fi routers cumulatively, increased more than 300 percent compared to 2006. The market research firm forecasts that by 2013, shipments of cellular modems will exceed 200 million units. Frankly, that seems very optimistic to me. So, we'll have to wait and see what happens. According to principal analyst Dan Shey, "2007 saw cellular modems established as an important connectivity technology for operators as well as for the mobile customer." However the growth of 2007 did not benefit just traditional market share leaders. Asia-Pacific vendors now control the majority of worldwide sales and they are bringing a completely new set of capabilities

Demand for Digital Home Managed Services

Growing complexity in consumer technology creates both challenges and opportunities. The expansion of technology within the home has been accompanied by device installation and troubleshooting problems that often require specialized knowledge. To help consumers overcome these challenges, IDC believes a new generation of tech support services is rising up that leverages the Internet to provide assistance remotely and directly. "Technology has become more deeply entwined in consumers' lives while consumer support options have remained limited and often unsatisfying," said Matt Healey, research manager, Software and Hardware Support Services at IDC. "However, we are quickly reaching the point where certain devices and applications are considered mission-critical in the home. This means more consumers will require, and be willing to pay for, a higher level of support to ensure smooth operations at home." To better understand the technology problems that consumers ar

Consumer's Dual Network Storage Needs

The home networking market is entering a phase of slowing growth. Many consumers have already purchased a home networking device -- other factors include continued pricing pressure and a lack of strong demand for upgrades, according to the latest study by ABI Research. One category, however, that will see continued growth through the next five years will be network storage, which ABI calculates at something under $400 million worldwide today but growing to just over $1.4 billion worldwide by 2013. ABI doesn't expect consumer network storage to see the same type of overall market demand as they've seen in the home router and gateway market. That being said, they believe that overall adoption of consumer network storage will grow significantly from the 10 percent of home network owners today who use network attached storage. While network storage among consumers will see an overall growth rate of 26 percent annually over the next five years, there are still significant hurdles fo

SIM-Only and Mobile Broadband Services

Mobile operators are starting to uncover new business models that help to address the problems posed by saturated mobile service markets and high handset subsidies, according to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media. European mobile operator Telefonica O2 announced that its SIM-only service, Simplicity, now has almost half a million customers and accounts for one third of its online sales. The SIM-only concept was pioneered by discount MVNOs in northern Europe and is now being embraced enthusiastically by mobile operators. It holds two key attractions for mobile operators. First, it allows them to accelerate the migration from prepaid to postpaid price plans. And secondly, it significantly reduces subscriber acquisition and retention costs (SACs). SIM-only customers keep their existing phones so operators do not need to resort to costly device subsidies. The SIM-only business model is just one of the strategies analyzed in new research from Informa. Their report argue

Craigslist, Facebook Popular on Mobile Web

Social networking and Internet commerce are compelling mobile smartphone users to spend more than four hours per month browsing the mobile Web within the U.S. -- and more than two hours in Britain -- according to the latest study by M:Metrics. According to March data from their metered smartphone panel, active mobile Web users in the United States spent an average of one hour and thirty-nine minutes in the month browsing Craigslist on their smartphone, the longest duration of any site among the top twenty domains visited. In the United Kingdom, Facebook commanded the most time spent browsing in the month, with visitors dedicating an average of one hour and forty-five minutes using the site, which is also drawing in users in America. There, Facebook ranks fourth in terms of time spent browsing, after eBay and MySpace, with Disney's rounding out the top five. In the UK, the remaining top sites by browsing time are the mobile service provider 3's portal, Sky TV, Microsoft&#