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Showing posts from August, 2009

Rise in Global Adoption of GSM-based Mobile

3G Americas announced that GSM-HSPA is expected to reach 4 billion mobile connections worldwide in September 2009. This marks a major milestone for the wireless communications industry. "Automobiles and telephones, followed by televisions and personal computers, have undeniably changed the world and have greatly shaped the way in which we live our lives," said Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. "Wireless mobile telephony substantially exceeds the impact of any one of these major innovations. In some countries, wireless penetration levels are exceeding 100 percent. Not only people, but machines, are connected through GSM technology, available today on nearly 800 networks in 219 countries worldwide." In the Americas region the adoption of the 3GPP evolution from GSM to HSPA grew by more than 19 percent in the year ending June 2009 (2Q) to 561 million subscribers with a market share of 72 percent. Globally, GSM-HSPA grew by 20 percent adding nearly 645 millio

Newspaper's Secret Appeal, the Advertising

eMarketer reported that more than 70 million U.S. consumers visited newspaper Websites in June 2009, giving the category an active reach of 35.89 percent, according to the latest market study by Nielsen Netview. "The newspaper audience continues to expand as publishers aggressively capitalize on their investments in digital properties, adding robust features and launching new products to attract a highly valuable consumer audience,” said John F. Sturm, president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). Because of changes in methodology, Nielsen's figures for June 2009 may not be directly comparable to data from previous years. All the same, Editor & Publisher reported some dramatic gains and losses in time spent at particular newspaper Websites. Time spent at The New York Times site, for example, fell by nearly 50 percent from June 2008 to June 2009. People spent more time at the sites of the Chicago Tribune and USA TODAY and at Boston.com, by comparison.

Broadband: Why Asia Leads and U.S. Lags

The U.S. federal government has received nearly 2200 applications requesting nearly $28 billion in stimulus funding for proposed broadband projects. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service will pick the winning applicants and announce them in November. The sobering reality, even if all those applications were approved and funded (clearly, they won't be with only $4 billion available), America would still be a distant laggard in the Global Networked Economy, when compared to the recognized market leaders worldwide. "The future of broadband is clearly in fiber," according to analyst, Ben Piper, Director of the Strategy Analytics. "The existing Telco xDSL infrastructure is reaching the end of its useful life. Soon it will no longer be able to support increasingly bandwidth-heavy consumer applications." Rankings just released by Strategy Analytics show that eight of the world's top-ten most fiber broadban

Europe's Hybrid Broadcast-Broadband TV

A consortium of European TV industry leaders announced "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV" (HbbTV), a major new pan-European initiative aimed at combining the broadcast and broadband delivery of news, information and entertainment to the end consumer through TVs and set-top boxes with a Web connection. The cross industry consortium includes broadcasters Canal+, France Televisions, and TF1, German research institute Institut für Rundfunktechnik, satellite operator SES ASTRA, as well as the software and media solutions providers ANT and OpenTV. The HbbTV specification was developed by industry leaders to effectively manage the rapidly increasing amount of available content targeted at today's end consumer. It is based on elements of existing standards and web technologies including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C. HbbTV products and services will provide the consumer with a seamless entertainment experience with the combined richness of broadcast and broadband. Thi

Green Mobile Base Stations in Rural Sites

The number of worldwide mobile phone base stations has grown from the hundreds of thousands to the many millions, creating greenhouse gases and pollution from the power required to run them, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Mobile base stations on an electric grid aren't the real problem, but as cellular spreads to billions of people in emerging countries, off-grid base stations, which are usually powered by diesel generators running 24/7, seem to proliferate. "While diesel pollution is an environmental issue, what bothers mobile operators the most is the real cost of powering and securing the generators," says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. Diesel fuel has to be trucked to remote rural sites, and theft of diesel fuel and equipment can cost operators millions of dollars. The solution is for operators to at least partially power remote base stations with wind turbines, solar panels, or both. This is truly a case where it pays to be Green. In-Stat's m

397 Million Mobile Video Phones, by 2013

The mobile video services upside is limited to a few successful deployments in advanced markets, like the Asia-Pacific region. Elsewhere, the situation is somewhat unpredictable. Though video-capable phones continue to become more widely available, subscriber uptake of pay-TV services (not free-to-air video broadcast) continues to disappoint. A combination of poor macroeconomic conditions, sub par 3G network coverage for streamed video services, and pricing that puts mobile video services out of reach for many consumers is contributing to the lackluster growth of mobile video services around the world. "While mobile video services are expected to eventually grow significantly, until operators combine broadcast, on-demand, and side-loading, revenue will remain a drop in the bucket of overall mobile service revenue," explains Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband and video at Infonetics Research. The Infonetics market study found the following: - They expect 397 mi

Mobile Data Services Still Priced Too High

A recent survey by ABI Research within the U.S. market, of 1000 consumers, defined the current attitudes about cellular modems. It includes one significant result that should grab the attention of mobile phone service operators. The high-priced subscription still limits increased service adoption. Cellular modems enable laptop computers -- and devices such as netbooks, e-readers, PNDs and digital cameras -- to access the Internet. Typical cellular modem users currently pay $50-$60/month for mobile data services from service providers. Respondents who don't currently own cellular modems but are interested in them, however, place a significantly lower value -- somewhere between less than $10 and $30/month -- on that mobile data service. "Over 47 percent of U.S. survey respondents had at least some interest in cellular modems and their willingness to pay for mobile data service is at half of current market prices," notes senior analyst Jeff Orr. In the U.S. at least, co

Growth in Word-of-Mouth Marketing Influence

In its latest market assessment, eMarketer predicts an 8.2 percent decline in U.S. total media advertising spending in 2009, after a 3.6 percent decrease last year. However, some channels continue to grow -- including word-of-mouth marketing. According to PQ Media, much this growth is due to the rise of new media channels, such as blogs, social networks and other social media sites. The research firm also found that U.S. word-of-mouth marketing spending on online communities increased 26.6 percent in 2008 to $119 million. After 37.6 percent compound annual growth from 2003 to 2008, PQ Media predicts total U.S. word-of-mouth marketing spending will continue growing. They estimate an increase of 14.5 percent compounded annually between 2008 and 2013. Total word-of-mouth marketing spending for 2009 is estimated at more than $1.7 billion, a 10.2 percent year-over-year increase. Consumer goods firms were the biggest spenders on word-of-mouth marketing in 2008, with a 17.4 share of th

Content Delivery Network Services Upside

Over the next five years, the worldwide value of Content Delivery Network (CDN) services will pass $2 Billion annually by 2011 and continue growing thereafter, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Growth in CDNs is a result of increasing usage of over-the-top internet video, as well as their flexibility to manage content for delivery through multiple delivery channels to multiple device types. "Over the coming years, In-Stat believes that Data Centers and CDNs will become the dominant approach for sourcing everything on demand," says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst. This will not only enable owners and creators to have more control over their creations, but also provide viewers with more choices in programming and delivery methods. The question on my mind -- will broadband service providers actively pursue this opportunity to create a two-sided business model, where they offer content owners new hosting services? In-Stat's market study found the following

OTT and the Internet Set-top Box Opportunity

The latest global market study by MRG demonstrates how Over-the-Top (OTT) video services may offer new opportunities for Pay-TV providers to expand their reach through TV-centric "open" Internet services. Is this the beginning of the end for walled-garden (closed) Pay-TV services? Well, that depends on your point of view, and perhaps if and when the CE manufacturers can bring new and improved Internet Video-Ready television sets to market. Revenues in 2012 should exceed $11 billion, with Internet Set-top Box (ISTB) penetration (including game consoles) exceeding 57 million. Besides cost containment practices, MRG identified what kinds of OTT video content consumers want (and will pay for), based on a global consumer survey. "The real question isn't whether Pay-TV Service Providers (SPs) should implement OTT, as most analysts already agree (they should)," says MRG Analyst Mike Galli. "The real question is how and with what results, which is why we did a

New 3D Applications for CE Digital Projectors

Global sales of digital projectors were slow in the first half this year. Global Q2 volumes reached nearly 1.3 million units, representing a 16 percent year-on-year drop from Q2 2008, according to the latest market study by Futuresource. With buyers continuing to hold back on spending, the corporate sector is expected to remain relatively flat for the rest of the year. However, the education market continues to offer strong growth opportunities, with budget levels remaining relatively unaffected. To underline this point, Q2 sales of interactive whiteboards have grown by 35 percent year-on-year, reaching 180,000 units globally. The second half of 2009 is expected to experience numerous large RFPs, with many emerging countries seeking to invest in IT for their education infrastructures. While overall market volumes have been weak, some bright spots include the continued emergence of the short throw and Wide XGA categories. With many whiteboard vendors now offering all-in-one board and

New USB SuperSpeed for Multimedia Devices

With over three billion devices shipped in 2008 alone, USB is the most successful electronic device interface ever, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Fueled by new SuperSpeed technology, also known as USB 3.0, and continued adoption across computing, communication and consumer devices, over 4 billion USB-enabled devices will ship in 2013 -- representing a 6.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) compared to 2008. Highlights from the In-Stat study include: - Digital TVs with USB will grow to 140 million units shipped in 2013. - USB-enabled LCD PC monitors will grow to about 70 million units, propelled by a CAGR of over 150 percent. - Blueray DVD players with USB will see a CAGR of over 90 percent. These growth segments will complement the enormous volume of markets such as handsets, where internal USB capability can be found in more than 1 billion units shipped annually, and where USB ports are becoming much more common. "USB dominates its traditional

Global Entertainment Video Ad Server Market

Revenue from the global advertising server market will reach nearly $185 million in 2013. At $79 million North America represents, by a significant margin, the largest regional market for video ad servers with the runner-up, Asia-Pacific, expected to deliver about $55 million in the same year. The resulting data are part of new additions to the latest ABI Research video-on-demand market study. New to the report are sections dealing with ad servers and ad splicers. "Video-on-demand has always been a killer app," says industry analyst Zippy Aima. "But the new driver for this market is consumer desire for more interactivity and more flexibility in what they can do with their video content. Start-over TV, catch-up TV, and similar features are the new benchmarks for VOD uptake." Broadcast continues to dominate the overall market, followed by cable and telco offerings. Although slightly slowed by the recession, growth in all segments has continued at a relatively stead

Significant Upside for U.S. Mobile Advertising

eMarketer estimates there will be 280.8 million U.S. mobile phone subscribers by year-end 2009. In contrast, comScore Mobile estimates a slightly lower 233 million, including 29 million smartphone users. Theoretically, that amounts to more than 200 million targets for mobile advertisements -- a medium projected by eMarketer to reach $760 million in spending in 2009. In 2013, the market will reach $3.3 billion -- based upon double-digit yearly growth. But, according to the report from comScore Mobile, some types of advertisers are doing a better job of capitalizing on this trend than others. In April 2009, broadcasting and cable TV, movies and entertainment, and automobile manufacturing were the leading industries using mobile advertising. Over the past year there's also been more promotion of traditional industries like personal products, apparel, packaged foods and food retail. Certain industries are also seeing great success monetizing their mobile ads. Downloads, real esta

Oxymoron: Easy-to-Configure Home Networks

Are your home network device connections easy and seamless? Not to worry, neither are mine. That said, a growing number of digital media devices for home entertainment are receiving DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certification. According to a new study from ABI Research, nearly 200 million such products shipped in 2008 -- that number will rise to more than 300 million in 2012, and the growth curve accelerates even faster in the years that follow. "Consumers increasingly desire ways to connect their various home entertainment devices and distribute digital media content around their homes," says digital home practice director Jason Blackwell. Without standardization, that is a nightmare. Specifications developed by the DLNA, which are based on the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) standard, supposedly enable easy, seamless connections in a wide and growing range of consumer electronics devices. As of today, more than 5,500 devices have received the DLNA "seal of

Worldwide and U.S. Internet Ad Spend Report

Worldwide spending on Internet advertising contracted for the second consecutive quarter, by 5 percent, to $13.9 billion from $14.7 billion in the same quarter a year ago. IDC's Worldwide and U.S. Internet Ad Spend Report 2Q09 found that all global regions posted losses, with the exception of the Asia-Pacific region and Japan, which saw slight gains in the second quarter (2Q09). U.S. spending also declined for the second quarter in a row, by 7 percent year over year, to $6.2 billion from $6.6 billion. In the United States, all major advertising formats saw year-over-year revenue losses, with search ads being least affected, display ads losing 12 percent, and classifieds shrinking 17 percent. All major publisher ad sales declined, for the most part at double-digit loss rates, with Google being the only exception, posting low single-digit growth. Worst affected were Monster.com with a 31 percent decline, suffering from the terrible condition of the classifieds business in the cu

Exabyte Era Driven by Mobile Device Data

In 2014, the volume of mobile device data sent and received every month by users around the world will exceed -- by a significant amount -- the total data traffic for all of 2008, according to the latest market study from ABI Research. "When people think of mobile data they think of BlackBerry and iPhone handsets," says senior analyst Jeff Orr. "But the bulk of today's traffic is generated by laptops with PC Card and USB modems." While add-on cellular modems represented two-thirds of traffic in 2008, computers with embedded 3G or 4G modems will lead in 2014 -- with more than 50 percent of the world's mobile data traffic. Key findings from the ABI study include: - Global mobile data traffic surpassed 1.3 Exabytes transferred during 2008. By 2014, an average of 1.6 Exabytes will be sent and received monthly. - Nearly 74 percent of the world's mobile data traffic will be from Web and Internet access by 2014. By the same time, 26 percent will come fro

An Uncertain Outlook for TV Set-Top Boxes

Each of the major set-top box (STB) segments -- including Cable, Satellite, DTT and IPTV -- faces widely different outlooks, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Satellite, the largest of the STB segments, experienced a 6 percent growth in 2008, bolstered by triple-digit growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Unit growth is likely steady for 2009 and 2010. The cable STB market grew 8 percent in 2008 to nearly 45 million units. However, growth in 2009 looks to turn negative in this mature market. The nascent IPTV STB market grew 55 percent in 2008, but similar growth will not continue. With few new telco TV deployments, unit shipments of IP STBs will experience a marginal increases in 2009 and 2010. Digital terrestrial (DTT) STBs grew at 200 percent in 2008, driven by high-definition (HD) converter boxes supporting the U.S. analog broadcast TV transition to digital. But, these shipments represent an unsustainable upside. Growth will fall back to 23 percent in 2009 and then w

Personal Media Player World Market Matures

As the worldwide media player market matures, with shipment growth of only 5 percent in 2009, competitors are scrambling to add features such as touchscreens and Wi-Fi connectivity to re-ignite demand, according to the latest In-Stat market study. Just a few years ago, the Personal Media Player (PMP or MP3) player market was among the strongest growth segments in the portable consumer electronic (CE) industry. Today, the market is stalled due to weak consumer demand, a poor economic environment, a stalled replacement market, and competition from the iPhone and other audio/video-capable smartphones. "Among the lone bright spots in the PMP market is Wi-Fi enabled PMPs," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. "Unit shipments of Wi-Fi-enabled PMPs will grow more than four-fold by 2013 from the 14 million units shipped in 2008." In-Stat's market study found the following: - Total worldwide shipments of PMP players will reach 225 million in 2009, with Asia Paci

Few Monitor, Measure Social Media Marketing

U.S. marketers are "willing" to start a conversation about their brands through social media -- some actually follow-through and do it. But, that's only the beginning of their digital marketing intent, according to a recent eMarketer assessment. In late 2008, MarketingSherpa surveyed social media marketers about the effectiveness of their practices. Large majorities rated social media marketing effective at influencing brand reputation, increasing awareness and improving search rankings and web site traffic. Social media was considered less effective, but still useful, for internal communications and driving online sales. Marketers thought the best specific tactics were user reviews, relationships with bloggers and discussion groups. But they also found those tactics difficult to measure -- only around 10 percent of respondents thought they were very accurately measured. While one-third of larger businesses had a written policy to manage brand communications, only 13

How Economics Drive Open Source Software

A recent market study from IDC reveals that worldwide revenue from open source software (OSS) will grow at a 22.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $8.1 billion by 2013. This IDC forecast is considerably higher than 2008 for three reasons: the bottom-up list used to calculate the revenue has expanded through an exhaustive effort to include more projects in this forecast. open source software has had a much higher level of acceptance over the past 12 months than previously expected. the economy accelerated the uptake and use of open source software in the closing months of 2008. "The open source software market has seen a strong boost from the current economic crisis," said Michael Fauscette, group vice president, IDC. OSS is increasingly a part of the enterprise software strategy of leading businesses and is seeing mainstream adoption at a strong pace. As the overall software industry continues to consolidate, it will be key for OSS vendors to reach scale

Dramatic Increase in Streaming Online Video

Americans with Internet access are streaming more TV shows and movies than ever before. Recent data from an Ipsos market study illustrates that in the past 30 days, 26 percent of online Americans have streamed a full-length TV show and 14 percent have streamed a full-length movie. This is more than two times the levels measured in September 2008. Not surprisingly, young adults 18 to 24 years of age have been the most ardent supporters of this medium. What is surprising is just how supportive they are -- in the past 30 days, 30 percent have streamed a full-length movie and 51 percent have streamed a full-length TV show, which represent dramatic increases from last year. The rapid rise in longer form video streaming can be attributed to the swift growth of many digital video OTT websites since last year. Hulu, in particular, has experienced heightened exposure and visitation, and has helped pioneer the transition to ad-supported free streaming of TV shows and movies. Now that the ad-

Asia-Pac Leads Satellite Set-Top Box Growth

Due to remarkable shipment growth in the Asia-Pacific region -- and particularly India -- the worldwide satellite set top box (STB) market grew in 2008, according to the latest market study from In-Stat. However, outside of Asia-Pacific and Latin America, regional markets remain sluggish or even negative. Another important trend is the rise of High Definition (HD) Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). "In-Stat expects HD DVRs to overtake shipments of Standard Definition (SD) DVR boxes in 2009, with some providers no longer offering SD DVR boxes," says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. More providers will stop offering them in the future, with some going so far as to eliminate all SD boxes from their product lineup in a few years. In-Stat's market study found the following: - The worldwide satellite set top box market grew by 6 percent in 2008, bolstered by triple-digit growth in the Asia-Pacific region. - Thomson was the largest provider of satellite set top boxes in 20

Growth for Multi-Service Access Platforms

Infonetics Research tracks vendor market share and market size for multi-service access platforms (MSAPs) and IP digital subscriber line access multiplexers (IP DSLAMs) in China, India, Japan, South Korea, the rest of Asia Pacific, and the region as a whole. "The Asia Pacific region represents the largest broadband aggregation hardware opportunity in the world, with China leading the way. The amount of money being spent in China on broadband aggregation equipment is astounding, thanks to a swelling middle class, aggressive national broadband initiatives, and heightened competition among China's newly-restructured telcos to launch premium broadband services and hold on to subscribers," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband and video at Infonetics Research. Although the overall DSL market is shrinking due to the shift from copper to fiber-based PON and Ethernet FTTH, the decline will be slowed by service providers deploying ADSL2+ and VDSL2 to deliver triple p

A Game-Changer: Wireless Networked TV

As part of the continuing trend towards networked home entertainment, television sets will increasingly include wired or wireless connections to online content. A new study from ABI Research forecasts that in 2011, about 20 million TVs offering wireless connectivity will be shipped worldwide. This segment is expected to show linear growth through the study's forecast horizon of 2014. Network connectivity does already exist in high-end models, and networked TVs are already quite widespread in Japan (the recognized leading market). According to industry analyst Michael Inouye, "North America, Western Europe, and select Asian countries are seen as the next growth markets, and the 2009 holiday season and 2010 will be the watershed periods when vendors will see whether networked TV should trickle down to mainstream models and really take off there." Ethernet will handle the wired type of connection in most cases, but will wireless technology prevail? If it does, the most li

Global PC Shipments Better than Expected

As in the first quarter of 2009, global PC shipments again came in slightly ahead of expectations in the second quarter (2Q09), lessening fears over the extent of the PC market slump. Worldwide PC shipments (including Desktop and Portable PCs, but excluding x86 Servers) were down 3.1 percent from the second quarter of 2008 -- a notable improvement over an expected decline of 6.3 percent, according to a market study by IDC. All regions either met or surpassed expectations. Although the global downturn is still making its effects felt in the PC industry, the slump has been mitigated by a PC market which has seen the computing experience evolve to be more personal, portable, and cost-oriented rather than performance-driven. Portable PCs continue to be the primary driver of volume and growth with all regions seeing strong Portable shipments. "These results are a very positive indicator for the second half of the year," said Loren Loverde, program director for IDC's Tracke

Market for Smart Meter Energy Management

With over eight million smart meters already deployed in the U.S., the market for residential energy management (REM) has taken the first significant steps in deploying Smart Grid technologies and advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) on a broad scale, according to the latest market study from Parks Associates. The international research firm, which recently completed the report Residential Energy Management: Company, Alliance & Technology Profiles, says these deployments will open up significant opportunities for companies in the REM value chain. Public, private, and consumer factors are all driving this growth, and the Federal stimulus bill, with the support of the Obama Administration, allocates $11 billion for smart grid initiatives through 2010. "Already over six percent of all U.S. meters are smart meters, and utilities throughout the U.S. are announcing new deployments and pilot programs daily," said Bill Ablondi, home systems research, Parks Associates. "We

Global Upside for Location Based Services

eMarketer reports that consumers are increasingly using GPS-enabled mobile devices to find local businesses, one another and even their family pets. Apparently, this is all part of the growing upside market opportunity. Gartner is predicting huge gains for mobile location-based services (LBS) in 2009. The market research firm estimates that total LBS subscribers will more than double worldwide this year -- to 95.7 million. "The LBS industry has matured rapidly in recent months through a mixture of consolidation, improved price/performance of the enabling technologies and compelling location applications," said Annette Zimmermann, analyst at Gartner. Worldwide revenues from consumer location-based services were under $1 billion in 2008, but Gartner projects they will top $2.2 billion this year. North America's share will be the largest, at $713.7 million. Subscriber growth will hinge on free. The competitive landscape will change and most mobile carriers need to alter