Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Upside for the Mobile Device Security Hardware Market

Mobile device hardware security is becoming a priority as maturing applications for finance or government use increasingly demand more secure communication. Trust hardware and secure boot -- for trusted execution environments -- are necessary elements for such industries.

Without this security assurance, applications for mobile commerce, mobile money or wallet will have some difficulty developing and reaching adoption by the big card payment providers, according to ABI Research.

There are a number of obstacles barring the way to the full dynamic emergence of a hardware security market. Not least of which is the fragmented mobile device landscape, with as many players on the silicon IP side as in OEM manufacturing -- led by ARM, Trustonic, and Samsung.

This particular mobile movement is also colliding head-on with long-standing efforts on the PC side that is looking to adapt tried and tested methods to the mobile landscape, with Intel and Microsoft pushing the market.

Specifications on both sides of the spectrum are increasingly looking to answer the same problem, while not specifically competing head-on. TEE, TPM, and UEFI are a few of those specs looking to address the issue of intrinsic security within the device.

While a number of technology vendors are vying for leadership in the space, the market is yet too nascent and fractured, leaving many unwilling to discount a potential rival due to the highly volatile nature of the mobile landscape.

"Interesting partnerships are being formed in the market, with players still unsure which technology will ultimately prevail. Yet all are aware of the pressing demand for security and that they will need to dive into the turbulent waters soon if they want to stay ahead of the game," said Michela Menting, senior analyst in ABI Research.

ABI estimates that the current mobile hardware security market to reach $1 billion by the end of 2014. The market will offer significant opportunities for a diverse number of industry verticals: silicon IP designers, SoC manufacturers, OEMs, trusted service managers, mobile network operators and security firms.

The ABI study looked in-depth at the following companies: ARM, Intel, Samsung, Microsoft, Trustonic, Apple, and Nokia, as well as providing some insight into potential innovators such as Intrinsic-ID, Secure IC, and Inside Secure.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Taxi Service Apps Disrupt the Traditional Companies

Although an increasing number of taxis are equipped with embedded telematics units, this is being overshadowed by the rapid rise in popularity of smartphone-based taxi apps, which enable passengers to order a taxi and the driver receiving pick-up requests directly via their smartphone.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, most capital cities nowadays boast a number of smartphone-based taxi service apps.

Some of the better known online services include Allocab, Hailo Cab, Uber Taxi, Easy Taxi, Kabbee, mytaxi, GetTaxi, Taxi.eu, Didi-Dache, Huaidi-Dache, MiniCabster, Chauffer-Prive.com, and Yongche.

However, not all the smartphone software applications are the same, although the majority operate on a peer-to-peer basis -- thereby by-passing the traditional taxi companies.

"Some, such as Hailo, work with the independent taxi drivers, but not the established taxi companies," said Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research.

Others such as Uber compete against both established taxi drivers and taxi companies, while a third type such as Kabbee offer a smartphone-based price comparison and booking service for established taxi and private hire fleets.

Taxi apps thus have the potential to disrupt and transform the traditionally heavily-regulated taxi market in many major cities around the world forever. However, the taxi companies are fighting back and the industry is planning to make life increasingly more difficult for the app start-up companies.

In a number of countries, the regulatory authorities plan to issue guidelines on the use of taxi apps, particularly in relation to driver distraction issues, as well as dealing with problems concerning fare payments via smartphones.

In China, where telematics is mandatory in all taxis, the authorities have banned the use of taxi apps in some cities.

Despite the regulatory uncertainty, taxi apps companies, many of which are backed by high-profile tech entrepreneurs, are now embarking on a global expansion campaign in a bid to gain market share.

Although it remains to be seen whether these companies will ultimately become profitable, the sheer convenience of these taxi apps means that very few of those who have used them will want to do without them, and so taxis apps are probably here to stay.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Enhanced Pay-TV DVR Growth will Exceed 84 Percent

As lower-cost online alternatives gain momentum, more Pay-TV service providers are attempting to make their legacy video entertainment offering more attractive by adding new features to their standard subscription package.

DirecTV’s Genie, Liberty Global’s Horizon, Dish’s Hopper and the HD DVR boxes that power Comcast’s X1 service all have something in common -- other than better marketing names than an older generation of boxes more commonly known by their model numbers.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, these feature-rich devices bring more channel tuners to centralize digital video recorder (DVR) resources -- minimizing DVR conflicts, as well as better processing power.

This increased processing power improves responsiveness and the device user interface. ABI believes that deployment of the device will also act as a Trojan Horse -- while pay-TV operators try to extend home automation and energy management services into their subscriber homes.

These feature-rich gateway boxes were first shipped in small quantities in 2010. Last year North American and Western European operators shipped 4.5 million units in a market which is conservatively estimated to grow by 84 percent, reaching 8.5 million by 2018.

"Operators have made decisions to move to gateway boxes for economic reasons, but more and more they are leveraging the power of those boxes to improve the quality and consistency of the experience they offer to consumers," said Sam Rosen, practice director at ABI Research.

Advertising campaigns highlighting unique features will supplement price and bundle oriented marketing campaigns and target higher-end customers.

U.S. market satellite operator Dish networks, for example, will highlight the uniqueness of its watch anywhere model, which is less subject to content rights agreements than other pay-TV operators.

Friday, January 24, 2014

120 Million Mobile Phablet Devices will Ship by 2018

The phablet is a relatively new type of mobile device, which emerged as smartphone screens grew larger and user needs began to shift its focus away from basic voice and data communication -- towards mobile multimedia applications (apps).


New findings from the latest market study by Juniper Research reveal that the phablet -- once perceived to have limited upside potential -- will ship over 120 million units by 2018, rising from an estimated 20 million in 2013.

The device will find particularly receptive markets in East Asian territories such as South Korea -- with gamers who desire a larger surface to play on, and China -- where content streamers will benefit from a higher quality screen.

Phablet Global Market Development

The new study findings by Juniper now forecasts that the phablet market could become a growth area for established smartphone vendors -- allowing them to build flagship phablet models targeting the tech heavy user demographics.


As evidenced by the recent entry of new vendors -- including Nokia, Alcatel and Intex -- the phablet market will likely grow from both ends of the price spectrum with established global brands predicated to focus on higher price points allowing local players to gain a foothold in the lower end.

Applications Software Platform Opportunity

The new study notes that the operating system (OS) market for phablets will be dominated by two major players -- Google Android and Microsoft Windows.

The Windows ecosystem will be driven by Nokia’s Lumia range, which is anticipated to find success in the more affluent demographics of developing nations.

Meanwhile, the Android ecosystem will be driven by the latest in the Samsung Note series in developed markets, as well as local vendors such as Intex.

However, this dynamic could change dramatically if the rumors of an Apple phablet, which meets Juniper’s definition of a 5.6 inch display, were to be realized in 2014.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Exploring the Impact of China’s Smart Grid Projects

The Chinese government has been an early pioneer of smart grid technology. Since embarking on its national smart metering project at the turn of the decade, more than 200 million new electricity meters have already been deployed across China.

However, according to the latest market study by ABI Research, only around 50 million have so far been connected with bi-directional communication that can support true smart meter capabilities -- such as 'demand response' measurement.

In short, this key smart meter project has not been that intelligent -- relatively speaking. But it is set to get smarter, and that means another wave of opportunity for utility industry technology providers.

China’s smart meter rollout is a key deployment representing a significant share of smart meter shipments and investment worldwide. Furthermore, connectivity technology semiconductor providers -- such as ST Microelectronics, Silicon Labs, and Atmel -- are likely to benefit.

Smart meter vendors -- including Echelon, Siemens, and Landis+Gyr -- are also anticipating an uplift from these projects. Now the program is reaching a key stage where connectivity will come to already deployed and new electricity meters alike.

Increasingly, that connectivity will be bi-directional as China’s utilities’ smart grid plans expand to manage smart meter use as well as collect usage data. Investment to deliver bi-directional communications will also bring a further wave of competition from Chinese and overseas technology providers.

"Existing meter specifications have ensured meters deployed over the past five years can be upgraded to support bi-directional connectivity. This combined with a recent commitment to consider wireless as well as PLC connectivity, means that there is a growing opportunity for existing and new connectivity hardware providers," says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research.

To date, meter deployments have so far been dominated by Chinese meter manufacturers, but components often leverage technology and products from overseas suppliers.

The shift to greater connectivity provides further potential for non-Chinese players to see their technology included and many suppliers are looking to partner with Chinese meter manufacturers to enable this transition.

The next 12 months heralds a key period of technology assessment that will drive new industry partnerships as players bid to gain greater traction in the Chinese market.

So far, within the smart meter rollout by China’s State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and Southern Grid Utilities, new meters have ranged from unconnected to single direction communication. And, one-way communication is only suitable for less complex applications -- such as remote meter readings.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mobile Data Roaming Service will Reach $42B by 2018

More smartphone users expect mobile Internet access when they travel abroad, it's a growing trend. Juniper Research has valued mobile network operator revenues generated from data roaming at $42 billion by 2018.

This data usage will represent 47 percent of all global mobile roaming revenue, compared to an estimated 36 percent in 2013.

Juniper notes that these revenues will be driven by rapidly increasing data usage, as operator migration towards 4G will induce subscribers to take advantage of faster broadband networks, while reductions in roaming charges will spur more frequent and heavier usage.

Why 4G LTE will Drive the Roaming Business

The new Juniper study found that with LTE deployments increasing and set to grow exponentially in all markets around the world, it will continue to fuel the explosion of roaming data usage.

However, they also note that in order to achieve the full potential of LTE roaming, successful business models towards end-users and between mobile network operators are needed.


Roaming agreements for 4G LTE are in its initial stages and all mobile network service providers are currently looking to partner with the tier-one operators in developing the right wholesale model.

"Operators need to sort out the right economics to encourage more usage at a value to the end users in order to avoid revenue erosion. They need to also provide services that are both relevant and cost effective to LTE roamers," said Nitin Bhas, senior analyst at Juniper Research.

The EU Regulatory Impact on Roaming Revenue

Meanwhile, Juniper found that if the proposal to end roaming charges in the EU gets the European Parliament approval, then this would significantly impact on roaming revenue levels.

Under this scenario, the report forecasts that European voice, SMS and data revenues would decline by just over 20 percent in 2016. However, the actual volume of usage and number of active roamers will continue to rise over the forecast period.

Unsurprisingly, the EU government proposal for such a regulation is witnessing fierce opposition from leading mobile network operators in the region -- including Vodafone, Orange and Telefónica.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mobile Internet Growth will Shift to Asia-Pacific Region

Following the current worldwide trend, many of the people who have yet to experience the Internet will likely gain access via a mobile device -- such as a smartphone. ​During 2013, global mobile Internet service revenue is estimated to have grown 23.4 percent to roughly $300 billion, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

Wireless broadband subscriptions have increased by 28.8 percent, and the smartphone share of total subscriptions advanced by 6.6 percent to capture 27.5 percent of the overall market share pie.

Despite the strong gains in mobile Internet adoption, global wireless service revenue is expected to have grown by just 3.2 percent -- to slightly over $1 trillion.

In 2014, according to ABI's assessment, mobile Internet related revenue momentum will continue upward, with growth in the 13 to 15 percent range.

LTE is providing some mobile network service provider upsell opportunities with multi-device plans and increased data quota plans, but by and large, 4G has not reversed the declining average revenue per user (ARPU) trend in most countries.

"The region that will contribute the most to the increase in mobile Internet service revenue is North America, despite the maturity of the market and that only 5.5 percent of global cellular subscriptions are based there," said Ying Kang Tan, research associate at ABI Research.

Higher smartphone penetration and increased mobile data consumption have helped North American mobile network service providers counter the declining ARPU trend.

ABI expects that ARPU in the region to rise in 2014 before declining again due to competition and lower revenue generating connections subscribing to mobile broadband.

When it comes to mobile data traffic growth, ABI says that it's already clear that the Asia-Pacific region will lead the pack -- generating 16.8 exabytes of traffic in 2014 for a 40.2 percent share.

After launching LTE services in late 2013, China will experience a surge in data traffic in 2014. Even mature markets like South Korea and Japan will continue to see strong growth as operators boost capacity with LTE-Advanced technologies.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Open Source Framework for the Internet of Everything

Are you ready for the next-generation of the global Internet? Are you prepared, as the world's governments and major industries all move forward to launch the coming wave of new innovations that will connect the previously unconnected?

The Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the AllSeen Alliance. The group is described as a broad cross-industry consortium to advance the adoption and innovation within the Internet of Everything (IoE).

The forward-looking IoE concept is based on the idea that devices, objects and systems can be connected in simple, transparent ways to enable the sharing of information via coordinated and intelligent operations.

Since it's believed that no single company can achieve the level of interoperability required to support the IoE bold goals, a united cross-industry effort is needed to deliver new experiences to both consumers and businesses everywhere.

The AllSeen Alliance looks to expand upon the notion of an Internet of Things (IoT), which Gartner predicts will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, to include more functionality and interactions across sectors -- such as the smart connected home, healthcare, education, automotive and enterprise.

Founding members of the AllSeen Alliance include consumer electronics manufacturers, home appliances manufacturers, telecom service providers, retailers, enterprise technology companies, innovative start-ups, and essential semiconductor manufacturers.


"Open source software and collaborative development have been proven to accelerate technology innovation in markets where major transformation is underway," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. "Nowhere is this more evident today than in the consumer, industrial and embedded industries where connected devices, systems and services are generating a new level of intelligence in the way we and our systems interact."

The AllSeen Alliance is believed to be an unprecedented opportunity to advance the Internet of Everything goals, for both home and industrial applications. The members will contribute software and engineering resources as part of their collaboration on an open software framework that enables hardware manufacturers, service providers and software developers to create interoperable devices and services.

This open source framework allows ad hoc systems to seamlessly discover, dynamically connect and interact with nearby products -- regardless of brand, transport layer, platform or operating system.

The initial framework is based on the AllJoyn open source project, which was originally developed by and is being contributed to the Alliance by the Qualcomm Innovation Center, and will be expanded with contributions from member companies and the open source community.

Products, applications and services created with the AllJoyn open source project can communicate over various transport layers -- such as Wi-Fi, power line or Ethernet -- regardless of manufacturer or operating system and without the need for Internet access. The software runs on popular platforms such as Linux and the Linux-based Android, iOS, and Windows, including embedded variants.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Growing Demand for Mobile Messaging Security Apps

Messaging on smartphones is assumed to be secure, but recent reports of new threats to user data integrity has created a renewed interest in the BlackBerry BBM robust messaging service. Meanwhile, independent software developers will offer enhanced app-based encryption solutions for other smartphones.

Infonetics Research released excerpts from its latest global market study of short message service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS) security hardware and software -- such as SMS firewalls and mobile messaging security platforms.

"The popularity of SMS and MMS has soared over the last decade, but carriers around the globe are just now beginning to seriously evaluate and deploy mobile messaging security solutions, forced by economic, regulatory, and attack conditions," said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

Infonetics has identified an important trend that is a result of more government regulatory pressure across the globe. Major mobile network operators in a region may be looking at SMS/MMS security solutions as a group and then selecting a single vendor or technology.

This nascent trend is causing initial adoption to happen very quickly in some regions, such as the Cloudmark and TeleDNA recent deployments in India. Ongoing concerns about the U.S. government sponsored NSA spying on Americans and foreign nationals may also be a key factor in the growing demand for these solutions.


Highlights from the latest market study include:

  • Around 10 trillion SMS/MMS messages are generated annually, opening up new opportunities for spammers, hackers and illegal government surveillance.
  • As a result, mobile network operators are stepping up spending on security gateway solutions designed to combat SMS/MMS related threats.
  • For the full year 2013, the global SMS/MMS security gateway market is projected to reach $70 million, that's a 70 percent increase over 2012.
  • Cloudmark, which closed out 2013 particularly strong, and AdaptiveMobile are the current revenue leaders in the SMS/MMS security gateway space.
  • Infonetics expects the next 12 months to bring consolidation to the SMS/MMS security gateway industry, with major networking or telecom equipment suppliers and focused network security players entering the fray.
  • Worldwide, the SMS/MMS security gateway market is forecast by Infonetics to grow at a 56 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2017.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PC Shipments Declined by a Record 10% in 2013

The leading vendors of personal computers would much rather put the trials and tribulations of last year behind them, but the industry analysts won't let them.

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 82.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13), representing a year-on-year contraction of -5.6 percent, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

For the full year 2013, unit shipments declined -10.0 percent from 2012 -- that's a record drop reflecting the changes in mobility and personal computing affecting the mature PC market. While commercial purchases helped to prevent a larger decline, the consumer side remained weak.

"The PC market again came in very close to expectations, but unfortunately failed to significantly change the trajectory of growth," said Loren Loverde, vice president at IDC.

Total shipments have now declined for seven consecutive quarters, and even the 2013 holiday shopping season was unable to inspire a turn in consumer spending. Although U.S. growth slipped a little in the fourth quarter, other regions all improved.


In the United States, market leader HP had a difficult quarter, contracting -12.3 percent year on year as the market slowed following an HP surge in the third quarter. However, some Asian manufacturers -- such as Lenovo and Samsung -- achieved strong double-digit growth, driven partly by a modest commercial uptick and due to acceptance of their Chromebooks.

Dell and Toshiba also managed mid single-digit growth, essentially coming from large corporate refreshes in the enterprise segment. Nevertheless, despite a dip in total shipments, the U.S. market outperformed most other regions and the worldwide market as a whole for the fifth consecutive quarter.

With shipments totaling 17.1 million PCs in 4Q13, the U.S. market contracted by -1.6 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Consumers continued to take a wait-and-see approach, leading to delayed purchases. The migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 and 8 continued to drive some momentum in the enterprise sector and once again businesses fared better than consumers.

The PC market in EMEA remained constrained in the final quarter of 2013. As expected, demand in the commercial segment was supported by year-end budget spending, with end of support for Windows XP deals contributing to even stronger shipments in the last three months of the year. As anticipated, the consumer market remained much more depressed, with shipments remaining soft amid ongoing weakness in demand, as media tablets continued to attract more buyers.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Total U.S. Smartphone Mobile Media Usage Update

American smartphone user growth may have slowed in recent months, but the adoption and ongoing use of software apps continues to rise. comScore released summary data on key trends within the U.S. smartphone industry for November 2013.

Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 41.2 percent OEM market share, while Google Android led as the number one smartphone platform with 51.9 percent platform market share.

Google Sites ranked as the overall top mobile web media property, while Facebook was the top individual software application.

Smartphone OEM Market Share

152.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (63.8 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in November -- that's up 3 percent since August.

Apple ranked as the top OEM with 41.2 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers -- that's up 0.5 percentage points from August.

Samsung ranked second with 26 percent market share (up 1.7 percentage points), followed by Motorola with 6.7 percent, LG with 6.5 percent and HTC with 6.4 percent.


Smartphone Platform and Apps Market Share

Once again, Android ranked as the top smartphone platform in November with 51.9 percent market share (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by Apple with 41.2 percent (up 0.5 percentage points), BlackBerry with 3.5 percent, Microsoft with 3.1 percent and Symbian with 0.2 percent.

Google Sites ranked as the top web property on smartphones, reaching 86.7 percent of the mobile media audience (mobile browsing and app usage), followed by Facebook (84.9 percent), Yahoo Sites (79.4 percent) and Amazon Sites (72.5 percent).

Facebook ranked as the top smartphone app, reaching 76.2 percent of the app audience, followed by Pandora Radio (52 percent), Google Play (51.6 percent) and Google Search (50.4 percent).

Monday, January 13, 2014

Upside for Mobile eRetail Payments will Reach $707 Billion

Mobile payments continue to represent one of the most dynamic and fast-evolving arenas of our connected society. This evolution encompasses what we now buy via the mobile commerce ecosystem, the payment mechanisms we use to buy it and the devices on which we shop for a selected product or service.

Juniper Research now forecasts that annual retail payments on mobile handsets and tablets are expected to reach $707 billion by 2018, representing 30 percent of all eRetail by that time. This compares with mobile retail spend of $182 billion in 2013, when mobile accounted for around 15 percent of eRetail.

The latest market study by Juniper found that leading retailers were increasingly developing strategies built around mobile, using it as a hub facilitating payment, product discovery and customer retention. As a result, it found that the size and scale of purchases across both smartphones and tablets was increasing strongly.

However, for users owning both devices there was a strong trend towards browsing on the smartphone while completing the purchase on the media tablet -- and by the end of 2013 global per month retail spend on tablets had eclipsed that on handsets.


Addressing the In-Store and Online Competition

The study also highlighted the increasing trend towards what's referred to as the "showrooming" phenomenon, where consumers examine retailer products in-store while simultaneously browsing on their smartphone to compare prices online.

Juniper argued that retailers need to adapt their strategies to incorporate this activity, by deploying tablets equipped with mPOS (mobile Point of Sale) capability throughout the store, while also introducing a price match option.

"This means that not only is the retailer proactively offering the consumer the opportunity to price check in-store, but that the purchase can be made immediately, without having to queue elsewhere in the store," said Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research.

However, Juniper also cautioned that while retailers were increasingly optimizing their sites for mobile phone handsets, only a small minority had done so for media tablets.

Other findings from the market study include:
  • Cyber Monday in 2013 saw retail sales via mobiles and tablets approach $400 million in the U.S. market alone.
  • For digital goods purchases, storefronts that implement direct carrier billing solutions can monetize younger demographics and unbanked users for the first time.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Online Purchase Trends During the U.S. Holiday Season

While it's true that more people now purchase goods and services online in America, retail sales can still be impacted by economic uncertainty and other key factors that could derail spending. Moreover, buying various consumer electronics and associated services is common during the holiday season -- so these retailer trends matter to the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector.

comScore reported holiday season U.S. retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers for the first 52 days of the November-December 2013 holiday season, showing that $42.8 billion has been spent online from desktop devices -- that's an increase of 10 percent compared to the prior year.

"The final online shopping week saw considerably softer sales than anticipated -- including zero billion dollar spending days -- although Monday and Tuesday came close," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman at comScore.

Strong momentum coming out of Thanksgiving, in addition to heavy weekend buying, suggested that America would meet or exceed expectations as long as momentum continued through the final week before Christmas.


However, the final season growth rate will ended up a few percentage points shy of what comScore had anticipated. They believe that this online holiday season was one where absolute dollar sales gains in consumer spending were held back by heavy retailer price discounting, that occurred in an attempt to stimulate consumer demand.

For the 2013 holiday season, Video Game Consoles and Accessories ranked as the top-gaining product category vs. year ago -- followed by Apparel and Accessories, Consumer Electronics (bolstered by smartphone sales), Computer Hardware (bolstered by tablet sales), and Home and Garden.

Top 10 Heaviest Online Spending Days in 2013

The season was once again led by Cyber Monday (Dec. 2) with a record $1.735 billion in desktop spending, followed by Tuesday, Dec. 3 with $1.410 billion and Green Monday (Dec. 9) with $1.401 billion.

The 2013 holiday season saw 10 days with more than $1 billion spending, but down from last year’s total of 12 individual days, reflecting the compressed calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas that featured six fewer days of online shopping.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Mobile Advertising will Gain Marketer Adoption in 2014

The growing penetration of smartphones and tablets -- which are continually generating data about their user's location, activities and preferences -- means that these smart mobile devices have become a highly valuable advertising channel for savvy marketers.

A case in point: in-app mobile advertising spend is forecast to reach $16.9 billion by 2018, that's up from $3.5 billion last year, according to the latest market study by Juniper Research.

Growth will be driven by several key factors including improved targeting capabilities, as well as a trend for more effective interactive rich media ads to be deployed in preference to traditional static display advertising.

Tablets are Gaining Ground on Smartphones

The Juniper study uncovered that while smartphones currently account for approximately 70 percent of in-app advertising spend, the growth in tablet users and usage would propel greater medium-term spending.

They also observed that tablet in-app ad spend would be further fueled by the fact that CPMs (Cost per 1,000 impressions) are significantly higher than those for smartphones -- particularly for rich media ads -- which also have higher CPMs than static display ads.

By 2018, the tablet/smartphone advertising spend split will be almost 50/50.


Mobile App Marketing Developer Opportunities

Juniper also observed that although app downloads will increase exponentially to 2018, the majority of in-app advertising expenditure is likely to be spent on ads with social mobile giants -- such as Facebook and Twitter.

"As the mobile advertising industry matures, more sophisticated advertising solutions are being installed by leading players, with a clear trend towards utilizing location-based advertising to drive greater relevance. These new technologies and formats will benefit stakeholders across the mobile advertising value network," said Sian Rowlands, research analyst at Juniper Research.

Other key findings from the market study include:

  • Global mobile advertising spend will surpass $39 billion in 2018, that's up from $13 billion in 2013.
  • Rich media ad spend will surpass display advert spend in apps by 2018, as more engaging ad formats see huge uptake.
  • Advertisers can increase conversions by simply adding mobile optimized features -- for instance a 'click to call' button, or by linking to the relevant app store.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Exploring the Big Telecom Vendor Landscape in 2014

Most of the world's leading telecom service providers have already abandoned long-range strategic plans to diversify their business and thereby create new sources of revenue. As an example, the notion of a two-sided business model, where ISPs extract new fees from content producers, has failed to gain momentum.

Instead, most broadband service providers are now focused on two primary ways to optimize their infrastructure and cut-costs within their legacy business model. The first (near-term solution) is to outsource the management and operation of their core networks to vendors that offer full outsourcing or selective managed services.

The second (long-term solution) is to embark upon a supplier diversity program, similar to the AT&T Domain 2.0 announcement last year. This approach includes the adoption of open architectures, low-cost white-box hardware and emerging industry standard software-based platforms -- such as SDN and NFV.

A Race to the Bottom of Legacy Cost Structures

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, their fourth quarter 2013 competitive assessment calls out the recognized leaders in the $10 billion Network Managed Services marketplace. They found that the lead positions within this race goes to the companies with flawless execution on controlling costs.

Overall leaders in order are Ericsson, Nokia Solutions, and Alcatel-Lucent -- based on a combination of Implementation (market traction) and Innovation (managed service as competitive advantage) criteria.

Ericsson easily claims Implementation winner with an unmatched 36.6 percent market share and over 1 billion subscribers under its care.

Second is Huawei, at a projected 22.9 percent market share, and ABI Research believes it will nudge ahead of the third place contender, Nokia Solutions and Networks with 22.1 percent market share.

The Innovation leadership position goes to the challengers  -- Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Solutions, and Networks and Ericsson -- based on advances in Managed Service automation, cloud offerings, and leveraging the potential of Managed Services for competitive advantage.

The Alcatel-Lucent focus on equipping its customers with competitive advantage, coupled with its focus on automation and cloud delivery, positions it as a most formidable challenger, according to ABI's assessment.

"Network Managed Services is an extremely competitive and tough business where scale and execution are everything," says Joe Hoffman, research director at ABI Research. "We now see Managed Services moving beyond outsourcing and cost reduction as service providers seek to deliver competitive advantage to their customers."

Raising the Bar for Telecom Services Innovation

The challenge for traditional networking vendors in 2014 is that those who aren't focused on cost-cutting must demonstrate that they can offer meaningful and substantive product differentiation. Vendors that plan to maintain a viable position in the status-quo environment of yesteryear are very vulnerable.

The middle ground of "good enough" technology demand will shrink rapidly, as the bare-metal open-source juggernaut gains momentum at the bottom of the value-chain and the relatively few truly unique offerings push downward from their pinnacle at the top.

The future market opportunities will go to the networking vendors that embrace this key market transition -- along with the more attractive forward-looking profit margins.  Professional services depth and breadth will increasingly be used as a distinctive competitive advantage.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Global Pay-TV Market will Reach $270 Billion by 2017

Incumbent U.S. pay-TV service providers would rather forget 2013 -- since it will be remembered as one more year where the major MSO cable operators collectively reported hundreds of thousands more video subscriber disconnects and service downgrades each and every quarter.

In urban markets throughout America, price-sensitive consumers abandoned traditional pay-TV service and turned to a combination of free over-the-air broadcast digital television and subscription streaming OTT video entertainment offerings -- such as Netflix and Hulu.

In some markets Telco challengers gained new pay-TV subscribers with limited-term lower-price service bundle promotions. However, once the promotions expire, some of these subscribers fail to convert to full-price customers. The story is very similar in other saturated markets all around the world.

Global Pay-TV Subscription Market in Transition

Infonetics Research released findings from its latest "Pay TV Services and Subscribers" market study and associated report -- which forecasts and analyzes the cable TV, satellite TV, and telco internet protocol television (IPTV) services markets.

"Telco IPTV operators AT&T, China Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom continue to enjoy strong growth in new subscribers and ARPU, showing that competitive providers with differentiated services can successfully steal share away from incumbent cable operators," notes Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay-TV at Infonetics Research.

According to the Infonetics assessment, whether it's an improved user interface, multi-screen video, or even DVR services, there are marked differences that have allowed telcos to grow their subscriber bases at a time when other pay-TV providers aren't growing at all.


Highlights from the market study include:
  • Worldwide video service revenue, including cable and satellite pay TV and telco IPTV, grew again in the first half of 2013 (1H13), to $110 billion, a 2 percent uptick over the second half of 2012.
  • Telco IPTV and satellite revenue continue to rise, thanks to new subscribers and increased ARPU in the critical regions of North America and Western Europe.
  • Meanwhile, cable revenue market share fell another percent in 1H13, primarily due to a slowdown in subscriber growth in the lucrative North American market, where video subscribers are declining at a pace of 1.5 to 2.5 percent annually.
  • The dominant satellite service provider, DirecTV, remains the pay-TV revenue market share leader in the first half of 2013.
  • By 2017, Infonetics expects the global pay-TV market to hit $270 billion, a 2012-2017 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 5 percent.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Mobile Operators Invest in Open Virtualization Platforms

As more people adopt using mobile internet access on a regular basis, broadband service providers continue to build-out their infrastructure to support the increase in predictable network traffic. Other related infrastructure investment is being aligned with anticipated market demand.

ABI Research finds IMS Core Network deployments are edging up as mobile network operators put the necessary infrastructure and capacity in place for planned 2014 VoLTE launches.

Spending for the core network products (HSS, CSC, Media Controllers and Gateways, MSF, IBCF, SBC and P-CSCF) integral to a functioning IMS network will reach $4 billion by 2017.

"We see increasing IMS Core Network revenues through 2017, after which IMS revenues will flatten and reflect capacity expansion," said Joe Hoffman, research director at ABI Research.

IMS spending for mobile 4G markets follows the LTE deployments, as mobile network operators seek to get their network coverage in place, stabilized, and compatible mobiles for VoLTE become available.

According to ABI's assessment, the leading LTE market -- North America -- will peak during 2015 to 2016, while the largest market, Asia-Pacific shows continued growth into the foreseeable future.

Service provider data center network-related virtualization will be widespread, since much of the IMS solution is delivered on x86 architecture and works on open bare-metal or virtualized platforms.

While the IMS driver is clearly VoLTE, operators will also find competitive advantage with a standardized, network-integrated solution that can also deliver superior user experience for WebRTC and OTT services under network congestion.

"Many operators will take a wait-and-see attitude as they already have 3G and CSFB for voice," continues Hoffman, "but they will quickly comprehend the monetization advantage with 4G and Voice, and adjust their strategies."

Put simply, the whole realm of traditional mobile network service provider infrastructure is moving to all-IP, where 4G / IMS / VoLTE is the standard migration path for the vast majority.

Friday, January 03, 2014

The Global Market Outlook for Pay-TV Technology

As consumer electronics and video entertainment industry analysts are preparing to descend upon Las Vegas once again, to attend the International CES next week, perhaps now is the perfect time to consider the outlook for the evolving pay-TV sector.

Infonetics Research has released excerpts from its latest global market study and associated report, which tracks pay-TV subscribers and video equipment sold to telco IPTV, cable and satellite television service providers.

"Pay-TV providers are sweating their existing encoding assets as they wait for the next generation of platforms that support HEVC (high efficiency video coding) so they can reduce current bandwidth requirements while preparing for ultra-definition TV, such as 4K," said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay-TV at Infonetics Research.

According to the Infonetics global market assessment, demand for contribution encoders among broadcasters will remain steady through 2017, with increases in spending due to the long-term transition to support HEVC and newer high-definition video formats.


Other findings from the market study include:
  • Infonetics expects the global broadcast and streaming video equipment market to decline about 9 percent in 2013 to $1.39 billion, then it will grow throughout the forecast period up to 2017.
  • Content delivery network (CDN) edge servers, which serve as streaming video pumps for over-the-top (OTT) and unicast content, are forecast by Infonetics to grow at a 21 percent CAGR from 2012 to 2017.
  • Spending on video-on-demand (VOD) playout servers is expected to decline in the short term, though pay-TV providers will continue to use them while shifting spending to CDN edge servers to support multiscreen and OTT video content.
  • Multiscreen broadcast encoder revenue is anticipated to increase slightly over the next 4 years as operators transition to software-only platforms and encoders with integrated transcoding.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Global Big Data Market will Reach $32.4 Billion by 2017

According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Big Data technology and services market will grow at a 27 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $32.4 billion through 2017.

Expect to hear more about Big Data and associated analytics software in 2014. To put this forecast into perspective, consider that's about six times the growth rate of the overall information and communication technology (ICT) market.

Although there are multiple scenarios that could unfold and many demand and supply variables remain in flux, IDC expects the market to exhibit strong growth over the next five years.

"The Big Data technology and services market represents a fast-growing multi-billion dollar worldwide opportunity," said Dan Vesset, Vice President at IDC. "The Big Data market is expanding rapidly as large IT companies and start-ups vie for customers and market share."

Because of the rapidly developing nature of this market, IDC continues to review its methodology and forecast assumptions on an ongoing basis.

In fact, IDC made a number of changes to the Big Data market sizing and forecast presented in this latest global market assessment. They have included the addition of infrastructure software -- such as security and datacenter management -- and high performance data analysis (HPDA).

IDC says that the company now considers HPDA to be a portion of High Performance Computing (HPC) market that fits within IDC definition of the overall Big Data landscape.

Additional findings from the market study include:
  • The growth of individual segments of the market varies with cloud infrastructure having the highest CAGR of 49 percent through 2017.
  • Decision automation solutions based on Big Data technology will increasingly begin to replace or significantly impact knowledge worker roles.
  • A significant amount of data that can be described as Big Data in the data centers will either get disposed of or archived to the cloud, which will result in lower revenue for traditional storage in the data centers.