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Showing posts from November, 2009

Global Telecom Service Provider Investment

Infonetics Research released the second edition of its 2009 telecom Service Provider Capex, Opex, ARPU, and Subscribers report, which features analysis on how current economic conditions are impacting telecommunications markets -- by region and equipment segment. "Global telecom service provider capital expenditures hit a plateau in 2008, marking the end of a 5-year investment cycle and the beginning of a 3-year disinvestment cycle, albeit a less dramatic one than what followed the great telecom crash of 2000," predicts Stephane Teral, principal analyst at Infonetics. Capex will bottom down in 2010 and a new investment cycle will start in 2011, driven by 3G rollouts in India and Central and Latin America, the start of 3G rollouts in Africa, and a ramp-up in LTE deployments in Australia, Brazil, Western Europe, Japan, and North America. Highlights of the Infonetics market study include: - Worldwide, service providers spent $305 billion in 2008 on capital expenditure proj

Exploring TV 2.0 with the IP Video Curator

Internet Television or TV 2.0 -- also known as Internet TV, Catch-up TV and Online TV -- is an IP-based Video service distributed via the public Internet. Not to be confused with IPTV offerings from broadband service providers, this video content is typically delivered on an as-is basis with no quality-of-service guarantees. I've shared several market research report summaries recently that highlight key market developments and associated growth forecasts. Questions have been raised about the ongoing availability of digital video content, in light of reports that the big-media companies will likely soon limit access to their TV programs on the Web. Given this news, I've been somewhat surprised to learn that some people believe that no-fee and advertiser-supported video content could therefore disappear from the Internet -- if and when websites such as Hulu.com decide to charge for access to some or all of their video content. In reality, there truly is an abundance of vide

Direct-connect Internet-enabled TV Bombshell

According to eMarketer , the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) now forecasts a slight growth uptick (0.6 percent) in 2010 to $166 billion in overall industry revenues. What has changed? Internet-Enabled Televisions, which connect directly to the Internet via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, are one of the hot new products that Americans will be buying -- along with continued adoption of various online video streaming and DVR services. Americans are watching more TV than ever, and also more online video, according to Nielsen. Increasingly, however, they will be watching Internet video on their big HDTV screen. "Marketers must start planning for the convergence of TV and the Web, as it gathers steam into 2010 and beyond," said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst. Over the past decade, consumers have upgraded their home networks from data-centric to multimedia-centric, to better accommodate their desire for digital entertainment. iSuppli predicts worldwide shipments of devic

How OTT is Forcing Legacy Media to Evolve

The highly efficient approach that Google applies to storing and serving digital video content is apparently influencing the legacy video distribution value-chain to evolve. Proving once again, that necessity is the mother of invention -- particularly when meaningful new competition forces an industry to change. According to In-Stat , traditional Video-on-Demand (VoD) services, and their typical siloed video services currently use a great deal of proprietary -- or industry-specific (i.e. very expensive) -- equipment. They see traditional and pay-TV service providers migrating to more efficient Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and data center models based on server virtualization. In-Stat believes that this migration enables content portability and will have a direct impact on equipment vendors, service providers and content owners. Meaning, this will be disruptive to the legacy status-quo. "Increasing usage of over-the-top (OTT) Internet video is driving traditional TV service

Rise of Hulu and Decline of Network TV Ads

More than 167 million U.S. Internet users watched online video during the month of October 2009, according to a market study by comScore . Online video viewing continued to reach record levels in October -- with nearly 28 billion videos viewed during the month. Google websites continued to rank as the top U.S. video property in October as it delivered 10.5 billion videos viewed. YouTube.com accounted for nearly 99 percent of all videos viewed at the Google properties. Hulu ranked second with 856 million videos viewed (3.1 percent) followed by Microsoft websites with 451 million (1.6 percent) and Fox Interactive Media with 446 million (1.6 percent). More than 167 million viewers watched an average of 160+ videos per viewer during the month of October. Google websites attracted 126 million unique viewers during the month (83.5 videos per viewer), followed by Fox Interactive Media with more than 53 million viewers (8.4 videos per viewer) and Yahoo! websites with 50 million viewers (6.8

No Slowdown in Sight for Online Video Use

Internet video viewing shows no sign of reaching a plateau. Time spent viewing video on social networking sites increased 98 percent year-over-year, from 503.8 million minutes in October 2008 to 999.4 million minutes in October 2009, according to the latest study by Nielsen . In conjunction, the number of online video streams viewed on social networking and blog sites increased 45 percent year-over-year, from 240.8 million streams in October 2008 to 349.5 million in October 2009. "During the past year, online video viewing has become central to the Web experience. In conjunction with this increase, we are seeing remarkable growth in video viewing on social networking sites and it is only natural that these two trends would converge in consumer's minds, making sites like Facebook and Myspace.com, increasingly important distribution points for both consumer and professionally generated video," said Jon Gibs, vice president, media analytics at Nielsen. Facebook was the to

PC Microprocessor Shipments are Recovering

Worldwide PC microprocessor shipments in the third quarter of 2009 increased substantially and to all-time record levels for a single quarter, according to the latest market study by IDC . The data indicates that PC processor unit shipments in 3Q09 rose 23 percent compared to 2Q09 -- growth that is approximately double the normal growth in unit shipments for the same period. In terms of revenue, the PC processor market grew more than 14 percent quarter over quarter to $7.4 billion. Looking at market performance by PC form factor, mobile PC processors continue to drive growth. Mobile PC processors, which include Intel's Atom processors designed for netbook PCs, increased 35.7 percent in 3Q09 compared to 2Q09. Desktop PC processors grew 11.4 percent quarter over quarter and x86 server processors grew 12.2 percent quarter over quarter. "The story about 3Q09 leads with Atom processors being sold in netbooks manufactured and sold in China," said Shane Rau, director at IDC.

Upside for Internet-Connected Mobile Devices

Broadband service providers are becoming a significant channel for all Internet-connected mobile devices, including netbooks and mobile PCs, because of the revenue potential of the associated services. In-Stat anticipates that the number of devices sold through the carriers will continue to increase as services are bundled for multiple devices and service prices decrease due to increased bandwidth from new communications technologies and increased competition between carriers. By 2013, In-Stat anticipates that over 60 percent of all the Internet-connected mobile devices sold will be through carrier channels. "In the U.S., carriers are charging up to $60 per month for a two year contract with the subsidized purchase of a netbook," says Jim McGregor In-Stat analyst. "While the subsidy costs the carrier $50–$100, it generates $1,440 or more in service fees over the life of the contract." Carriers in the EU and Asia are also offering netbooks with a data contract,

Buyer Influence and Social Media Marketing

According to the latest eMarketer assessment, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and social media marketing are not a logical mix. CPG companies tend to focus on attempting to reach a passive "mass audience" of docile consumers -- while social media is more focused on actively engaging independent-thinking people. "By looking at social media as a way to listen to consumers, respond to their needs and create ongoing dialogue -- instead of as another way to advertise to them -- CPG companies can reinvigorate their marketing and create new bonds with consumers," said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst. The CPG industry is turning its attention toward online advertising, but remains firmly committed to traditional media. Spending on social network advertising represents only a small fraction of the total investment going to that channel, according to Nielsen AdRelevance. Still, the Nielsen figures represent only image-based ad spending, and do not

Outlook for U.S. Enterprise Data Services

Most traditional wireline data services spending by U.S. businesses has been consistently falling in 2009, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . However, there are a few exceptions to this trend. Overall, In-Stat expects a nearly 2 percent decline in U.S. business spending on wireline data services -- which represents the first time this market has declined in the 10 plus years In-Stat has been tracking it. Wireline data services include expenditures on wide area network (WAN) data transport services, as well as, dedicated Internet access (which includes cable and DSL), network-based IP VPN, private line, frame relay, ATM, and Ethernet services. Note, the category does not include managed services, such as, hosted IP telephony, LAN infrastructure, security, and other managed service solutions, which are tracked separately by In-Stat. "Ethernet Services and IP VPN services are among the lone bright spots in the market," says David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst. Spe

Brits Share Digital Media with Friends-Family

With personal video sharing and photo sharing gaining interest, Futuresource Consulting has carried out a UK market study to gain greater insight into the media that are being used, the decision-making process and the level of reliance on the available platforms. "An astounding 92 percent of survey respondents told us they are sharing their images with friends and family, either electronically or as hard copies," says Simon Bryant, Principal Consultant at Futuresource Consulting. The survey found that on-camera and via email are the most popular methods of sharing pictures. However, nearly half of all respondents are still sharing physical prints with friends and family -- though this behavior varies widely depending on the age of the respondent. Females are also more likely to share physical prints than males. The vast majority of people surveyed -- 85 percent in all -- also upload personal photos and/or videos to websites, with 16-34 year-olds leading the way. However,

Top 5 Mobile Smartphone Vendors for 2009

The worldwide mobile smartphone market reached a new record for shipments during a single quarter. According to an IDC market study, vendors shipped a total of 43.3 million units during the third quarter of 2009 (3Q09) -- up 4.2 percent from the 41.5 million units shipped in 3Q08, and up 3.2 percent from shipments of 41.9 million units in 2Q09. "Demand for converged mobile devices has remained strong all year," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC. "These devices provide more utility and entertainment than traditional mobile phones. Moreover, users have plenty of devices from which to choose, whether it be a multimedia powerhouse, a messaging machine, or a social networking tool. As users expect greater functionality from their devices beyond telephony, we believe the converged mobile device market to grow faster than the overall mobile phone market." Top Five Mobile Smartphone Vendors Nokia maintained its position as the overall leader in the c

Wireline Telcos Have Tough Choices to Make

Infonetics Research released its new fixed and mobile communications subscribers market forecast report, and it's now apparent that the continued decline of legacy "phone service" will change the face of the industry, forever. The global recession did not prevent people from using communication services, but it clearly accelerated the pace of wireline-to-mobile substitution. China, which had half a billion mobile subscribers in 2008, and India together make Asia Pacific the world's largest mobile subscriber region -- now and into the future. The EMEA region is next, with strong growth driven by Africa. "Mobile subscriptions will continue to grow strongly over at least the next five years, driven mainly by basic voice service needs in these regions, particularly in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China)," projects Stephane Teral, Infonetics Research's principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure. How can wireline telcos in developed

Global Demand Increases for Wi-Fi Hotspots

The Wi-Fi wireless hotspot market is entering a revival period marked by renewed interest from communication providers and increased usage among both business and leisure users, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . In-Stat estimates that wireless hotspot usage will increase in 2009 by 47 percent, bringing total worldwide connects to 1.2 billion. "A market that appeared to be languishing due to revenue shortcomings has found a renewed life force," says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst. Mobile operators have become increasingly involved in the hotspot market globally as they assess the potential of hotspots to offload wireless data traffic from overburdened 3G networks. Also, mass market adoption of Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones has significantly altered hotspot usage, with these devices accounting for the majority of access sessions in some locations. Wi-fi usage at home and the increased availability of free (to the end-user) Wi-Fi access in coffee shops, hotels an

Social Networking Market for Mobile Users

Social networking activity is growing among mobile Internet users around the world. As one of the primary ways mobile users communicate with one another, it is proving a significant driver of Internet usage on wireless communication devices. eMarketer predicts that the number of mobile users accessing social networks from their mobile devices will reach 607.5 million worldwide by 2013 -- representing 43 percent of global mobile Internet users. In the U.S. market, mobile social net users will total 56.2 million by 2013 -- accounting for 45 percent of the mobile Internet user population. "Combining two much-hyped, but still-emerging channels -- mobile Internet access services and social networks -- results in a developing opportunity for marketers," said Noah Elkin, eMarketer senior analyst. The big three social network destinations of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter dominate the U.S. mobile space, as they do the desktop PC world. Location-based networks have not yet reache

Mobile Internet Device Market Diversification

According to the latest market study by ABI Research , almost 35 million netbook PCs will be shipped by manufacturers in 2009 -- a forecast the firm first made in February. ASUS dominated the netbook category in 2007 when it debuted the Eee PC, and Acer made a big push in the forth quarter of 2008 to lead the second year. "74 percent of 2008 netbook shipments bore the brands of just three vendors: Acer, ASUS, and Samsung," says senior analyst Jeff Orr. "However, the rapid growth of netbooks as a second computer in developed markets will be eclipsed in coming years by vendors targeting developing nations and first Internet PCs at home." The netbook and nascent mobile Internet device (MID) markets are not locked up. While several of the leading netbook vendors are recognizable brands from the laptop and desktop computing markets, new vendors -- including handset maker Nokia -- have introduced netbooks and MIDs in an effort to participate in the growth of these segme

Over-the-Top Video Viewing Doubles in 2009

The TV 2.0 adoption process is in full motion, and announcements planned for the upcoming CES will further accelerate this phenomenon. We're moving beyond the early-adopter stage of market development, as the connection options and user interface for viewing Internet Video on new TV sets is further simplified. Meanwhile, the U.S. broadband households that are viewing premium online content -- including movies and TV shows via the public Internet -- doubled in the last year, according to the latest market study by Parks Associates . Currently, it's estimated that over 25 million U.S. broadband households regularly watch full-length TV shows online, while over 20 million watch movies online. Parks reports that the growing popularity of online portals -- such as Hulu.com -- shows rapid growth in the number of viewers who use the Internet to watch long-tail and premium content. This shift highlights the opportunity for service providers to extend their current pay-TV and video-o

Touch-screen Mobile Phones Gain Adoption

A comScore market study of touchscreen mobile phone adoption in the U.S. uncovered a 159 percent growth rate during the past year -- to 23.8 million users in August 2009. The growth in touchscreen device adoption substantially outpaced the already strong 63 percent growth in the adoption of smartphones. "Touchscreen phones have quickly gained adoption as new devices have flooded the mobile marketplace," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of Mobile. The Apple iPhone ranked as the top touchscreen device family with 32.9 percent of touchscreen device users age 13 and older, nearly four times larger than the market share of the next most popular device family -- the LG Dare (8.7 percent). LG Voyager ranked third with 7.8 percent of the market, followed by the Blackberry Storm (7.0 percent) and Palm Treo (6.5 percent). Smartphones in general and touchscreen devices specifically tend to be more popular among younger users. While 38.8 percent of all mobile subscr

Networked Digital Home Audio Marketplace

Traditional broadcast analog radio is being overshadowed, as listeners abandon the limited format for a multitude of digital audio entertainment options. The rise of connected devices and Internet radio are laying the foundations for multi-room networked audio, according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting . The digital music market in the USA now accounts for 35 percent of the country's music revenues, with a subscription market worth nearly $3 billion (85 percent derived from satellite radio). The UK is also a significant market, where consumers spend almost twice as much on music per capita than the U.S. and European average. Combine this with a rapid adoption of consumer laptops, notebooks and wifi-enabled broadband, and the market is shaping up for a networked audio revolution. There are many potential applications for networked audio, including connecting a laptop to a music system's speakers without the need for wiring; a home theatre in a living roo

Are you Ready for Ultra-High Definition TV?

While the market for High-Definition TV (HDTV) has apparently reached the mainstream user, the consumer electronics industry has already started speculating about the commercialization of Ultra-High Definition (UHD) television. Perhaps we'll learn more at the upcoming CES in January. One question that I have, when will there be enough 4k and 8k resolution cameras in the hands of filmmakers and TV producers to create the required UHD video content for this format? In-Stat believes there will be a lengthy time period before the UHD market reaches a critical mass of 5 percent household penetration. However, as the initial market debuts over the next five to ten years, there will be ample opportunities for technology companies, manufacturers, service providers and media companies to experiment with business models and strategies to make UHD a strong business in the long term. "UHD formats provide between four and sixteen times the resolution of Blu-ray or 1080p high definitio

Local Advertising Gaining Mobile Momentum

eMarketer reports that beginning this year, Piper Jaffray anticipates that local online advertising spending will outpace the national spend within the U.S. marketplace. In 2008, national and local ad spending levels were equal. But while the research firm projects a drop in national online ad spending for 2009, local is expected to increase by 5 percent. Over the next five years, Piper Jaffray predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 percent for local online ad dollars, compared with 4 percent for national Internet spending. Borrell Associates, on the other hand, forecasts only a 2.9 percent CAGR for local online ad spending over the next five years. Borrell puts spending at $16.4 billion in 2013, compared with $19.18 billion for Piper Jaffray. While Borrell believes the local online ad market is approaching saturation, Piper Jaffray indicates in its report that small businesses will begin to catch up with consumers online, bringing significant growth to the local onli

Top 3 Consumer Desires for Broadband CPE

The top three important factors U.S. consumers cited in their purchasing decisions of Broadband Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) were speed, security, and Wi-Fi wireless range, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. The least important features were product brand, followed by "green" environmental friendliness. Meaning, it's a typical commodity consumer electronics product category. "While companies are marketing their "green" equipment features, the message doesn't appear to be resonating with consumers," says Joyce Putscher, In-Stat analyst. "Consumers want performance and security." It's not clear from the survey result if In-Stat asked about ease-of-use preferences, since poor device configuration design is often cited in prior consumer surveys of broadband CPE. The research also reveals that while 2008 was the slowest total global broadband (CPE) market growth of the decade, 2009 will be even slower. Fortunately, se

Server Virtualization Reinvents the Datacenter

According to the latest study by IDC , 16.5 percent of all new servers shipped in the second quarter of 2009 (2Q09) were virtualized -- an increase from 14.5 percent in 2Q08. However, actual shipments decreased 21.0 percent year over year to 246,000 physical servers in 2Q09 as customers continue to limit spending on new server hardware relative to last year. Similarly, worldwide virtualization software revenue declined 18.7 percent year over year in 2Q09 to $344 million. Virtualization licenses did grow quarter over quarter in 2Q09. The server virtualization market continues to shift towards the use of paid hypervisors, with paid virtualization software now running on 60.8 percent of all new server hardware shipments virtualized in 2Q09, an increase over 57.2 percent in 2Q08. Does this also mean that more enterprise CIOs are out-tasking applications to managed cloud service providers? It's unclear at this time. But, the accelerated move to virtual servers is a significant IT in

Upside for Wireless Broadband USB Modem

The majority of cellular broadband modems purchased as add-ons to portable and mobile wireless computing devices have traditionally been bought by businesses -- to equip their mobile workforces. However, according to a new market study by ABI Research , in 2010 51 percent of these modems -- mostly in the USB adapter form factor -- will ship into the consumer segment. By 2014 that percentage is expected to rise to 63 percent. "The decline in mobile broadband modem sales to business and the rapid growth of the consumer segment have several causes," says senior analyst Jeff Orr. The overall economic climate has put a crimp in business spending and lengthened equipment replacement cycles. At the same time the explosion in consumer demand for mobility, fueled in large part by the popularity of netbooks, has pushed up consumer interest. The popularity of the USB form factor, which has all but eclipsed the older PCMCIA and CardBus formats, has also influenced consumer adoption

European Digital Terrestrial TV STB Demand

While the global recession has dampened growth in new digital set top box (STB) deployments in 2009, the market potential still remains a tremendous opportunity for STB equipment vendors, according the the latest study by In-Stat . From 2001 to 2008, the overall digital set top box market grew from 37 million units in 2001 to nearly 190 million units in 2008. Growth turned mixed across STB markets in 2009, with cable set top box shipments declining, while satellite, IP and digital terrestrial segments continued to see some unit growth. "Looking forward, the transition from Standard Definition (SD) to High Definition (HD) set top boxes will continue to provide STB vendors a solid growth opportunity," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "The integration of Personal Video Recording (PVR) capability is also creating growth opportunities." The big unknown factor is still the growth of over-the-top (OTT) Internet video service adoption and the effect on hybrid STB deman

China, India Capture Mobile Handset Growth

Emerging markets now account for over two thirds of all mobile phone handset shipments -- with China and India leading the growth -- according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting . "The global handset market will decline by around 3 percent in 2009, with consumers and businesses alike keeping hold of their handsets for longer," says David Sidebottom, Digital Media Consultant at Futuresource Consulting. "However, China and India continue to buck the global trend, and our forecasts show year-end growth in both these countries, giving them a combined share of almost 30 percent of the total global handset market by the end of the year, compared to just 20 percent in 2006. The USA has also performed better than anticipated, bolstered by strong smartphone and pre-pay sales. Conversely, Japan has been severely hit this year, largely due to new pricing regulations. The UK market has been one of the hardest hit, with the mid-range sector taking the greatest d