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Showing posts from September, 2008

Out-Tasking Web and Application Hosting

According to the latest In-Stat market study, the U.S. business market currently devotes the largest part of managed services spending to managed infrastructure in 2008 at 35 percent. Most of this current spending is done by the enterprise market -- firms with more than 1,000 employees. While enterprises devote the largest portions of their managed services budgets to managed infrastructure services, at the other end of the spectrum SOHO and small businesses (fewer than 100 employees per firm) spend the bulk of their managed services dollars on Web and application hosting. Managed network services is the biggest slice of the pie among mid-sized businesses (100 to 999 employees per firm). The leading trend in managed services is the quickly increasing spending on the out-tasking of Web and application hosting among enterprises and, to a lesser degree, mid-sized businesses. Spending on Web and application hosting is expected to experience strong increases and a CAGR of 20 percent thr

Mobile Phone Use in the Home is Growing

According to a new market study by Informa Telecoms & Media, mobile phone traffic generated in the home environment was estimated at 40 percent in 2007. By 2013 it is expected to reach an overwhelming 58 percent. Informa expects Femtocells deployment to help operators offload up to 8 percent of total mobile traffic to fixed networks via end-user broadband lines. Their report finds that mobile voice minutes of use (MoU) in the home environment will approach 42 percent of total mobile voice traffic by the end of 2008. As the price gap between fixed and mobile calls narrows mobile voice usage at home will gradually increase to reach 49 percent by 2013. The office environment will come in second position with a 30 percent market share, while only 9 percent of calls will be initiated on the move -- when walking, driving, or on the train or bus -- and the remaining 21 percent of calls will be generated from other public environments. Mobile data usage is also expected to increase ove

Big Daddy Steps to Unified Communications

The communications industry buzz makes unified communications (UC) sound like it will cause seismic shifts across the business world, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. In the long run, some grand predictions may prove accurate because definitions of unified communications are so broad, with reports on uptake quoting big numbers, such as 50 percent of enterprises evaluating, installing, or running unified communications applications. However, apparently even the small baby steps of progress, such as a unified messaging installation or a web conferencing subscription, are being counted within those reports. "Real transformational changes will take more time, perhaps even a generation, to accomplish," says David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst. "But, it's possible that a new generation, dubbed Millennials, bringing to the workplace communications habits formed in their early years (text messaging, social networking, blogging, etc.), portends more rapid adopt

Major Expansion for Marketing Films Online

Have you seen a movie trailer online lately? Seems like they're surfacing more frequently in all types of rich media Ads. Online film marketing is truly expanding -- in both the scope and sophistication. In 2007, studios in the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and their subsidiaries, spent $754 million advertising films online. By 2012 that figure will increase to $2.4 billion. According to eMarketer projections, last year online channels represented approximately 5 percent of all film advertising, but by 2012 the figure will climb to 13.2 percent. "Not only is online film advertising spending on a fast growth curve, the marketing channels used by studios are also expanding," says Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer. "Today, virtually every film marketing campaign leverages traditional and new media channels, with applications such as social network profiles, widgets and recommendation engines becoming an integral part of the mix." Films a

Best Ultra-Mobile Device is a Netbook PC

From a virtual standing start of just 10 million units in 2008, shipments of ultra-mobile devices (UMD) -- the umbrella term for ultra-mobile PCs, netbooks and mobile Internet devices -- are expected to exceed 200 million in 2013. According to ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis, "The UMD market will still be small compared to the wireless handset market, but with a forecast revenue of nearly $27 billion in 2013, it will certainly be significant." While netbooks account for about 90 percent of today's UMD market, they will fall to a distant second place by 2013, while Mobile Internet Device (MID) shipments surge ahead to take nearly 68 percent of the market, with Ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) remaining a niche category. To put the UMD market forecasts into perspective, the 2013 estimate of 200 million shipped devices is roughly the anticipated size of the worldwide laptop PC market. "As this market enters its rapid growth phase and starts to evolve," Soli

Africa is the Final Frontier for Mobile Phones

When world's predicted four-billionth mobile phone subscription comes before the end of 2008, it will have taken just five full quarters for the latest billion net additions. The engine for this rapid growth has been the tremendous consumer demand seen in emerging markets, such as China and India, where in each of these countries there have been over 50 million new mobile subscriptions in the last six months alone -- as well as significant growth in markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and Brazil. The rise of global mobile subscription numbers is set to slow, with Informa Telecoms and Media's forecast suggesting the five billionth subscription will be signed during 4Q 2011, with worldwide penetration reaching in excess of 70 percent by this time. Only in Africa will penetration at the end of 2011 still be below 50 percent. "It is clear that the mobile industry will see a slowdown in growth -- it is simply untenable for the extraordinary growth witnessed over th

Mobile Phone Subscriber Online Searching

ComScore announced that mobile search is gaining in both popularity and frequency of use -- both in the U.S. and Western Europe. comScore M:Metrics reports that in June 2008, 20.8 million U.S. mobile subscribers and 4.5 million European mobile phone subscribers accessed search during the month, an increase of 68 and 38 percent from June 2007, respectively. The U.K. had the highest penetration of mobile subscribers using search at 9.5 percent, followed closely by the U.S. at 9.2 percent. "It is interesting to note that as we see the number of mobile search users increase, the frequency of activity is also growing," observed Alistair Hill, analyst, comScore. The number of people accessing mobile search at least once a week grew 50 percent in Europe, with France and Spain leading at a rate of 69 and 63 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the number of U.S. users accessing mobile search has more than doubled as a result of expanded 3G penetration and smartphone adoption, as

Mobile Broadband Connectivity Evolution

Sprint, the U.S. wireless operator, lowered its mobile broadband prices for using a phone as a modem, but the price for using PC Cards and USB modems are unchanged. Given this change, cellular modem sales are still set to top $22 billion by 2013. ABI Research principal analyst Dan Shey notes, "Customers want mobile broadband experiences like those provided by their PCs, meaning they want the fastest devices. Phones with at least 3G radios threaten cellular modem sales; however shipments of these modems will not exceed 30 percent of cellular handset shipments by 2011." But to truly understand this threat, we must analyze regional penetration of 3G devices. Industrialized countries will see deeper penetration of these higher-priced devices, typically in the hands of business customers. However convenience is important to business customers -- PC Cards and USB modems are far more convenient than phones for broadband connectivity. Adding complexity to the analysis is the grow

Stellar Growth for Remote Home Monitoring

Demand for intelligent control applications will push U.S. revenues for consumer wireless and powerline controls from $740 million in 2008 to over $3 billion in 2012, according to the latest market study by Parks Associates. They forecast the installed base for these technologies will skyrocket to nearly 60 million in 2012, thanks in large part to key players entering this market. Companies including Black & Decker, Schlage, Hawking, iControl, and Wayne Dalton have all announced new products targeting access control, remote monitoring, and consumer energy management applications. Zilog recently announced a new control platform incorporating both wired and wireless connectivity interfaces that provides consumers with remote access and control through WiFi-enabled handheld devices, including the Apple iPhone and the BlackBerry Curve. "The era of electronic home controls has arrived," said Bill Ablondi, Director, Home Systems Research, Parks Associates. "Technologic

More Choose Cable Co. for Phone Services

Telephone service via a cable TV provider has gone from something of a curiosity among voice services to a widely available service. In fact, in a few countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, cable telephony has become a common choice for wired telephone service. According to In-Stat, even with the increasingly widespread availability of cable telephony service, there are some critics who remain skeptical about the long-term viability of the service. When queried about this, most cable TV operators point out the following: - A cable TV service bundle of video, high-speed data and telephony is a compelling package, and it continues to attract entertainment and information-hungry consumers. - Advances in hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network technology are providing a cost-effective way to provision telephony services over the existing cable TV infrastructure. - The widespread availability of VoIP-based cable telephony services is also enhancing the cost competitivene

Females Flock to the Online Gaming Sites

ComScore released results of a study into the online gaming category, indicating significant user growth among teenage girls between the ages of 12 and 17 and women between the ages of 55 and 64. While the total female online gaming audience in August 2008 grew 27 percent versus last year to nearly 43 million visitors, the number of female gamers in the 12-24 and 55-64 age segments grew at a substantially faster rate. Growth in these particular demographic groups is likely the result of the emergence of gaming content, portals and Web sites catering specifically to these segments. "Many advertisers and their ad agencies have long understood the appeal of online gaming among teenage boys, and they have now found creative ways to effectively reach these female audiences with targeted ad campaigns," said Edward Hunter, director of Gaming Solutions at comScore. "With the increased interest in online gaming among the highly lucrative teenage girl and older female demograp

DVD Still Trumping Online Video Revenue

The home video market in Western Europe is expected to generate total retail revenues of 11 billion Euros by the end of 2008, with 97 percent of those revenues coming from packaged media (DVD and Blu-ray) and 3 percent from new digital video (online and mobile video). Although revenues from online video are currently low, the presence of major hardware players such as Apple (iTunes), Microsoft (Xbox Live Video Marketplace) and the recently launched PlayStation Network video service from Sony provides a promising outlook for the market. Apple is already quoting sales of 50,000 movies per day on its video service, a clear indication that there is a growing appetite amongst consumers to view digital video content. The online video market is expected to gain traction and will be encouraged by technology advancements such as faster broadband speeds. Futuresource anticipates online video revenues to increase significantly by 2012 and along with mobile video will represent 13 percent of to

Asia-Pacific Fuels the Touch Screen Growth

It's true, touch screens have been available for some time, and are found in a variety of fixed and portable devices, but it was the launch of the Apple iPhone that refocused people's attention. Shipments in 2007 of touch screen-based mobile devices increased 91 percent over 2006, and ABI Research forecasts that revenue from the global touch screen market for mobile phones and other handheld devices such as MIDs, UMPCs, and PNDs will reach $5 billion in 2009. "Nearly all mobile handset manufacturers are getting into touch screens to a greater or lesser extent," says research director Kevin Burden. "The acceptance of touch screens to date has varied by geographic region, which has been a significant factor in determining the success of individual handset vendors." Samsung and Motorola have been the most successful, commanding 33 percent and 30 percent shares of the touch screen mobile phone market respectively. Samsung and Motorola lead the market for tou

Consumers View Mobile Ads After Incentives

While initial reactions to marketing and advertising messages on a mobile phone can often be negative, a recent survey from ABI Research finds that the level of responsiveness can often be improved through incentives. In fact, approximately 37 percent of those who have received text message-based advertising have indicated they are more likely to respond to advertising in a text-based marketing message if they are offered an incentive such as a retail coupon or free song or ringtone, compared with only 11 percent who indicated that such incentives would not have any impact. "We think that in general, advertisers and operators must tread carefully when delivering marketing messages to a consumer's mobile handset, especially given that many subscribers believe they are paying a significant amount of money for their mobile services," says research director Michael Wolf. "However, we believe that marketing and advertising messaging that is properly crafted and that ut

Managed Service Market Forecast to $34B

The managed network services market is forecast to grow to over $34 billion by 2013, according to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media. The developing regions such as the Middle East and Africa are expanding particularly strongly as new services are launched, while the established markets such as Western Europe are driven by the need to differentiate through marketing support and customer service. According to the Informa report author, Richard Jesty, one major trend which is currently emerging is the willingness of operators of all sizes to consider using managed services. He said "The future for managed services is vibrant, with new strategic deals now being struck with Tier 1 operators, and consultancy becoming a significant factor. But what makes this trend so exciting are the implications it has for the changing nature of the telecoms operator's business model and the opportunities this creates for service providers." External services already

Digital Home Network Monitoring Market

The home monitoring market will undergo major growth as a result of robust consumer interest and the emergence of new technologies offering digitally networked services and enhanced functionality compared with traditional systems. In a recent IDC poll of 1,500 consumers, more than half expressed interest in the ability to monitor and control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, as well as electricity and home appliances from an external PC or wireless phone. The home security and monitoring market has changed little in decades and remained largely unaffected by the Internet. The major difference between traditional and next-generation security systems is that the latter are broadband-based and offer redundant connectivity via wireless and voice, while most ADT systems rely on voice or wireless alone. Likewise, the home automation market is not mature and has few consumer applications with widespread appeal and ease of use. Emerging vendors profiled in a new IDC study include

How to Influence SMB IT Buyer Decisions

In a recent market study of North American and European SMB IT decision makers, Forrester Research attempted to determine the sources of information used in the buying process. They asked the following questions: When researching and comparing network and telecommunications products, how important is each of the following "digital media" as sources of information for informing your purchase decisions? a) Vendor, industry/trade, or professional Web sites; b) blogs from vendors, peers, or industry commentators; c) email or electronic newsletters; d) Web-based events or Webinars; e) interactive media: podcasts, video, online demos, or rich Internet apps; f) discussion forums, online communities, or social network sites; and g) other (please specify). They also asked which publications or sources of information do SMB decision makers refer to when making enterprise-wide network and telecom technology purchase decisions for their company. The results demonstrate the continued

More Migration from Legacy WAN to IP-NGN

According to In-Stat, legacy network services -- like frame relay, leased line and ATM -- over the wide area network (WAN) continue to provide U.S. businesses with a reliable, manageable communications infrastructure on which to operate. However, Next Generation Network (NGN) services over the WAN are better equipped to provide the building blocks necessary in addressing the progressively more demanding connectivity requirements faced in today's business environment -- all size businesses are transitioning towards the IP-NGN model. For purposes of In-Stat's study, NGN services are defined as IP/MPLS and Ethernet services. Overall, all size of business segments have similar goals in moving from legacy to NGN services, but there are differences in motivations and concerns over migration that vary by size of business. In-Stat latest market study included 810 respondents, of which approximately 90 percent were very knowledgeable or extremely knowledgeable in their organization&

Mobile Advertising is Better When Targeted

The outlook for advertising displayed on mobile phones in the U.S. market seems to lack momentum. Regardless, mobile marketers do not need to worry about whether college students are capable of receiving their messages. Apparently, nine out of ten U.S. college students surveyed in August 2008 by Harris Interactve for Alloy Media + Marketing said they owned a mobile phone. Fully 70 percent of that group said they used text messaging. Clearly, that's a very attractive addressable market. Text messaging by college students is also on the rise. More than seven out of ten responding college students surveyed by Youth Trends in May 2008 said they were texting more often than they had during the previous year. However, this does not mean the university crowd wants marketers to start hitting them with broadcast text messages. Even opt-in is not a safe way to reach mobile collegians -- more than one-half of respondents to the Youth Trends survey said they were "not at all intereste

Web Video Advertising Outlook is Optimistic

The online video advertising growth predictions continue to be upbeat. Video advertising company LiveRail predicts that online video ad spending will near $1.4 billion in 2010, up from $619 million in 2008. The company said that online video still represents only 2.4 percent of all online ad spending. Clearly the only way to go is up -- which is exactly the direction it's heading. eMarketer's analysis, which considers predictions by multiple firms, puts online ad spending in 2010 at $1.15 billion, up from $505 billion in 2008. Similarly, online video represents only 2 percent of total online ad spending as of 2008, but will approach 10 percent in 2013. Most online video ad spending predictions released in the past year are at least somewhat optimistic, and it is easy to see why. More than one-half of U.S. consumers currently watch online video, and by 2012 nearly nine out of 10 Internet users will do so. Perhaps the more important point, from an advertiser's perspective

Slowing Adoption of Blu-Ray Video Players

The high-def DVD format war ended in early 2008, with Blu-ray the clear winner. But, don't expect a quick ramp up of Blu-ray player sales to standard DVD player levels any time soon -- as prices for Blu-ray players are still high, according to an In-Stat market assessment. Meanwhile, the DVD hardware market will decline in 2008, as DVD players have reached saturation in some markets and DVD recorders never really caught mainstream consumer attention, the same way that DVD players did. "DVD recorders have been most popular in Europe and Japan, but Blu-ray recorders are taking over in Japan while interest wanes in Europe, possibly due to increasing shipments of hard drive-based DVRs," says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. The In-Stat research covers the worldwide issues facing these markets and what consumers in France, Germany, Korea, Japan, the UK, and the U.S., have said when questioned about their purchase plans. Five-year forecasts for unit shipments, ASPs, and re

Eastern Europe Creates New IPTV Upside

According to the latest market study by Informa, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe continue to offer a range of attractive opportunities for international TV players and investors. This already positive environment will only improve, with a period of extensive merger and acquisition activity expected over the next few years. The number of digital households in the region is expected to expand quickly over the next five years. Eastern Europe ended 2007 with 21.6 million digital homes. That number is expected to rise by 31 percent in 2008, to 28.6 million, but be more than three times bigger by end-2013. The region is expected to reach 70.1 million digital households by 2013. Digital satellite leads the way, with cable having initially made slower progress towards digital conversion. But with IPTV making some inroads in the region, there is evidence of cable now looking to upgrade with greater urgency. UPC is upgrading on a region-wide basis and has recently turned its atte

Did Ad Spending Online Top the TV in UK?

The vast majority of British advertising growth in 2007 was on the Internet. Ofcom said in August 2008 that the online ad spend had risen an average of 70.2 percent in each of the past five years, and reached $5.6 billion last year. Last year was the first time the Internet attracted more ad spending than the combined net advertising revenues of top TV channels ITV1, Channel 4, S4C and Five at $4.8 billion. Total TV ad revenues in the UK reached $7 billion last year. The Ofcom numbers were somewhat higher than eMarketer's estimates, which put online ad spending in the UK at $5.3 billion for the year. Ofcom's estimates have prompted headlines that online ad spending overtook ad spending on TV in the UK during 2007. "Though this milestone is imminent, it is difficult to believe that it has already occurred," said Karin von Abrams, senior analyst at eMarketer. "No other source claims to have confirmed this event -- and in fact the Ofcom statements do not really

European IT Services Market Assessment

According to a recent IDC market study, the top 50 players accounted for 53.4 percent of the IT and business services market in Europe in 2007. Even though most of the largest vendors are still U.S.-based companies, the number of Europe- and India-based companies in the ranking has increased. Revenue growth was particularly high in the top 21-50 vendors, with rates above 20 percent in dollars, due to a mix of organic growth and market consolidation. The aggressive growth rates of Indian players, three of which are already in the top 21-50 positions, also helped to increase the average growth rate. The top 20 companies grew at a lower 16.2 percent in constant dollars. In 2007, 10 players from different categories were the fastest-growing companies across the European services market: - European service players Logica and Orange Business Services (OBS) grew at 38.6 percent and 48.5 percent, respectively, due to acquisitions. In the past two years, Logica acquired Unilog and WM-data,

Explosion in Game Console Related Growth

In 2013, online content and services for Internet-connected game consoles will generate over $8 billion in global revenue for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, the three console manufacturers. A new report from Parks Associates forecasts that revenue streams from digital video distribution, downloadable games and content, virtual worlds and avatar based micro-transactions, multi-player gaming services, and dynamic in-game advertising. "Broadband connectivity, now a common feature for game consoles, is a key enabler for new business models," said Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, Director of Broadband and Gaming, at Parks Associates. "Among the different online revenue opportunities, digital video distribution and downloadable games and content are the most promising." The Parks report further reveals that among the big three game console manufacturers, Microsoft currently dominates the online content and service market -- but Sony and Nintendo are gaining ground as they ram

Demand for Real Digital Asset Management

Fueled by the unstoppable flow of audio, video, photos, and text being generated or converted in digital formats, the global market for Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions -- software intended to capture, organize, store and distribute digital content -- is expected to pass the $1 billion mark in 2013. According to ABI Research industry analyst Zippy Aima, there are a number of forces acting to drive this market to great heights, but DAM also has some significant challenges to overcome. "Large quantities of digital media content require collaboration across all personnel and departments, from creation to delivery," says Aima. "DAM system ability to enable integration is driving demand." Until recently, the different operations concerned with rich media content were siloed and isolated. DAM solutions available today can integrate with existing third-party applications and systems, such as ERP and enterprise content management (ECM) applications. Another fact

Managed Service Providers are Compared

According to a Current Analysis report featuring competitive analysis of global service provider managed IP solutions for Europe-based multinational companies, offerings from BT and Orange Business Services lead the pack. However, the market study also shows solutions from T-Systems, AT&T and Verizon Business are very close behind, and that all are quickly rising to meet increased demand for outsourced network-based IT services. The study explores the market dynamics between global service providers and system integrators in a converged communications and IT market and the growing importance of who makes the best choices when it comes to systems integrator (SI) partnerships. Managed IP Service solutions are made up of a range of enterprise services provided by network operators, managed service providers and system integrators that manage network-centric applications that run over enterprise customer networks. These solutions are emerging to address the requirements of multinat

No Winner in Ultra-Mobile Computing Race

Ultra-mobile computing could far outsell desktop and notebook PCs in the long-run, and is now garnering much attention from semiconductor firms, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Apparently, Intel is gearing up to do battle with ARM -- the RISC-based, incumbent, intellectual property (IP) company that has dominated the embedded mobile semiconductor market for consumer electronics devices for much of this decade. "Mobile devices are now performing many more computing-related tasks than in the past, thus, placing additional performance and power demands on processors," says Jim McGregor, In-Stat analyst. "But battery technology cannot currently keep pace with these ever-increasing demands and, at the same time, consumers want compact mobile devices that they can easily slip into a pocket, precluding the use of a larger battery. Processing solutions that offer high-performance, while limiting power consumption, are needed." The In-Stat research cover

New Strategy for Nokia "Comes With Music"

Nokia has announced that the UK will be the first market where it will launch its much talked about "Comes With Music" service, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. The agreement with UMG (Universal Music Group), SONY BMG and Warner Music will ensure that users will have access to over 2.1 million music tracks. Carphone Warehouse will be the exclusive UK prepay channel to sell the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic Comes With Music handset. In general, adoption of most mobile music services has so far been slow and disappointing. Nokia hopes to change this trend and therefore unlike most other music services, Comes With Music will allow users to keep and listen to all the downloaded music even after the one year subscription period ends. However, many media reports have raised concerns on the business model and whether Nokia will be able to make any profit from the service. Research from Informa shows that mobile music sales will generate over $12.3 billion in revenues in 2008

Mobile Content Market Worldwide Forecast

According to Portio Research, in 2007 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 industry, cell phone 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 majority 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 forecast to decline to a

B2B Social Networks Enabling Collaboration

A recent eMarketer assessment asked the pointed question, do business and online socializing actually mix? Apparently so, they conclude. As the number of business users of social networks continues to increase, advertising expenditures will rise. In the U.S. this year, advertisers will spend $40 million to reach a business audience on online social networks, and that is just the beginning. According to eMarketer projections, that ad spending will reach $210 million in 2012. "As compelling as the ad growth is, marketers will spend far more over the next few years to create and manage their own social networks for business customers, partners, suppliers and vendors," says Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer. "These business networks will serve a range of purposes, from improving customer communication and collaboration to aiding product development." A clear sign of the revolution in business thinking and behavior is the popularity of LinkedIn -- th

Why U.S. DSL has Become the New Dial-up

The second quarter proved to be one of the most challenging on record for U.S. broadband service providers, according to the most current market study by Strategy Analytics. Broadband service providers added only one million net additional subscriptions in Q208, compared to over two million in the previous quarter. Particularly hard-hit were the telcos, some of which experienced a 90 percent sequential quarterly drop in net subscriber additions. Cable companies fared slightly better, which provided the only positive news in an otherwise lackluster market. "The dramatic downturn in the quarter is largely attributable to a slowdown of new subscriber connects, as well as consumer migration from DSL to cable," noted John Lee, Analyst in the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service. "As home users become more accustomed to high speeds at the office or elsewhere (like visits abroad), they are less willing to tolerate slow performance in their home." U.S.

Mobile Use of Social Networks is Growing

Online social networking use is growing, but what happens when all those virtual friends hit the road? Increasingly, they will be able to stay in touch via mobile versions of their favorite social networks -- using their cellular phones. ABI Research forecasts that in 2013 more than 140 million subscribers will share anytime, anywhere social network experiences this way, and they will generate subscription revenues in excess of $410 million. "Subscriber numbers for mobile social networking will climb at a relatively modest rate for the next three or four years, but will then start to accelerate sharply," says research director Michael Wolf. "That uptick is based on assumed acceptance levels in the giant emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Those countries are wild-cards, very difficult to estimate, so we are quite conservative in our forecasts." Some mobile versions of social networks will follow the same model common to today's Interne

Worldwide Computer Server Market Upside

According to IDC's latest market study, revenue in the worldwide computer server market grew 6.4 percent year over year to $13.9 billion in the second quarter of 2008 (2Q08). This is the ninth consecutive quarter of positive revenue growth and the highest Q2 server revenue since 2000. Unit server shipments grew 11.1 percent year over year in 2Q08 driven by a sustained refresh cycle and an expansion of infrastructures across enterprise, SMB, and cloud computing environments. Although volume systems revenue grew 2.1 percent in 2Q08, they underperformed the market for the first time since 4Q06 as server OEM's experienced strong pricing pressure in the marketplace. Revenue for midrange enterprise servers increased 1.5 percent year over year and the high-end enterprise server market showed a 22.1 percent increase year over year. This is the second consecutive quarter that the high-end enterprise segment has outperformed the volume and midrange enterprise market segment. "Cu

GSM Adding a Million New Subs Per Day

In one year ending June 30, 2008, GSM/HSPA added more than 115 million mobile phone subscriptions in the Americas region with a market share of 67 percent. According to Informa Telecoms & Media, global GSM/HSPA wireless subscriptions as of June 30, 2008 totaled 3.2 billion -- adding more than a million new subscriptions for the GSM family of technologies per day worldwide. Informa forecasts subscriptions to UMTS/HSPA will number nearly half a billion worldwide by the end of 2009, and will pass the one billion mark in 2012. Total GSM/HSPA connections will number just over 3.9 billion by the end of 2009 according to Informa's forecasts. GSM operators throughout North, Central and South America continue to evolve their networks to UMTS/HSPA. To date, there are 29 commercial UMTS-HSPA networks in the Americas region in 16 countries, and that number is accelerating with the economies of the global GSM ecosystem, 231 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks worldwide, and the availability o

Questions Raised about What is Real HDTV

Would you know what real HDTV looks like when you saw it? Seems like a simple enough question. Then why is the right answer confusing to so many people who purchase HD television sets? The arrival of Full High Definition (HD) television service is unlikely to affect sales of Blu-ray discs or players, according to the latest market study by Strategy Analytics. Satellite companies DirecTV and Dish Network in the U.S., as well as cable operator Numericable in France, have recently introduced Full HD programming in the 1080p format. The Blu-ray Disc Association has objected to claims that these services deliver high definition picture and sound equal to that delivered by Blu-ray Disc, and suggests that these comparisons are irresponsible and misleading to consumers. Strategy Analytics believes that satellite providers are competing primarily with cable and IPTV companies, and not with the Blu-ray Disc format itself. "1080p, or Full HD, is the video quality benchmark set by the Bl

Targeting the Youth-Oriented Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds Management released the latest findings of its analysis of youth-oriented virtual worlds. There are now over 150 virtual worlds operating or in development with a focus on the youth market (18-and-under). That number is up from just over 100 in April. The complete Virtual Worlds Management Youth Worlds List, including the operational status, demographic focus and detailed news coverage on each virtual world can be found online. The news comes in advance of the second annual Virtual Worlds Expo taking place September 3-4, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In all there are 95 youth worlds currently live. Another 68 are in concepting, development, or testing phases. That is up from 53 in development in April. Many worlds target a wide range of demographics, sometime as broad as ages 5 to 18. The tween category (considered ages 8 to 12) leads with 88 worlds live or in development (up from 62 in the April study), followed closely by kids worlds (ages 7 and under)