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Research

In-Stat: VoIP Market Slowing Down?

February 17, 2009

A somewhat deceiving headline made me sit up and take notice this morning. A news item from In-Stat, titled: Struggling Economy Will Slow the Growth of Voice over IP (VoIP) in US Business Markets drew my attention.   A closer look at the release, and it turns out things aren't all grim for the VoIP market after all.   According to David Lemelin, In-Stat analyst:   "IP continues to be a partial voice solution for most businesses with VoIP, particularly among larger businesses. Therefore, there is significant room for growth even among businesses that have already adopted it."   Recent research by In-Stat found that:   ·         32% of Enterprise size businesses say the economic situation has slowed their VoIP deployment plans. ·         Broadband IP Telephony remains the most common carrier-based business VoIP solution with revenues exceeding $1.1 billion in 2008, compared to $857 million for hosted IP Centrex service within the US. ·         Adoption varies significantly by size of business, with Enterprise businesses preferring a partial deployment, while SOHO businesses are more likely to go IP-only. ·         13% of US businesses use both carrier-based and premises-based IP solutions          In-Stat's report 2008 US Business VoIP Overview: Stick to Fundamentals covers the U.S. business market for VoIP.

IP Phones Find a Home in Business, Not at Home

February 11, 2009

In-Stat is reporting that the business IP Phone market is thriving, and that by 2012, 31 million voice centric IP phones will ship into businesses.   And while IP phones are making some headway into the consumer space, In-Stat believes business IP phones will continue to outpace consumers by 10:1.   According to the report IP Phones Worldwide - On the Desk and Beyond, IP-based communication is enjoying much more vigorous adoption rate in enterprises than in the consumer space.   "Within the business market, corded IP phones remain the standard, and will continue to dominate the enterprise IP phone market through 2012," says Norm Bogen, In-Stat analyst. "However, WLAN and IP DECT phones continue to grow, especially within some specific vertical and geographical markets."  

In-Stat: WiMAX Market Strong, Yet Some Vendors Shrink from Opportunity

February 10, 2009

According to industry researcher In-Stat, "Broadband communications have become a crucial communications tool, so demand for mobile WiMAX technology remains strong."   But some vendors, especially those slow to migrate to the latest standards, might not be willing to wait around for that demand to translate into tangible sales.   "While the market for 802.16e will continue to grow, it does not mean happy days are here for every vendor," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. "In-Stat expects to see more infrastructure vendors pull back or leave the WiMAX market entirely. This is especially true for vendors that have been slow moving from 802.16d to the 802.16e standard."   According to the In-Stat research: ·         WiMAX base station revenues grew by 137.9% in 2008. ·         Global WiMAX subscriptions will be over 85 million by the end of 2013. ·         Deployments of 802.16e are contributing to the decline of sales in the fixed WiMAX standard, 802.16d.   Seems to me that this market opportunity is real and continues to evolve. With some vendors pulling out before the market matures, it appears that there will be more to go around for the remaining players that do hang in there.

More on Broadband, Jobs, Stimulus

February 1, 2009

In case you followed the recent blog chatter about the proposed $40 billion that would go toward improving broadband availability and speeds as part of broader economic stimulus, here's some more information.   According to a Reuters article, Robert Crandall, a Brookings Institution economist said of a study he co-authored that the numbers that are being widely cited in newspaper reports are grossly overstated.   He is referring to a forecast that nearly 300,000 U.S. jobs would be created for every percentage point rise in high-speed Internet use   According to the Reuters report, Crandall said, "the Brookings Institution study, published in July 2007, is not particularly relevant now because of differing employment and related migration trends at the time of the study. Attempting to extrapolate it nationwide at this time is a "gross overstatement."   The article goes on to quote Chris King, an investment analyst at Stifel Nicolaus who believes that the section of the stimulus plan that call for targeting unserved rural areas would not really incentivize rural providers to invest.   Said King, "We believe the current plans are unlikely to stimulate private sector investment in unserved areas."   King is among a group of Wall Street analysts who maintain that tax credits for ultra-fast Internet speeds for underserved areas would likely only benefit Verizon Communications and perhaps some cable companies.

ABI Research: Netbooks to Play Secondary Role

January 30, 2009

Looks like ABI has been spending a lot of time researching the netbook market.   A November 2008 study targeting 1,000 North American adults found that only 11% would use a netbook as their primary computer while 79% would purchase a netbook for use in concert with a laptop or desktop computer.   According to ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis, "While their low price does cause some consumers to view netbooks as a replacement for a laptop given the current economic conditions, the majority view a netbook as being a secondary device."   "Even as a device that is secondary to the PC, this has to cut into the laptop market somewhat. When considering another laptop as an additional device mostly for browsing the web and using other Internet-based communications applications, consumers will find netbooks to be an appropriate alternative."  

Report: Consumers Willing to Pay for Citywide WiFi

January 28, 2009

An interesting report came across my desk; especially noteworthy in light of the economic conditions plaguing the landscape.   According to the "Devicescape Wi-Fi Report" consumers say that they want citywide WiFi and they are willing to pay for it.   The official announcement of the study will be out tomorrow, but I was fortunate enough to get advance notice.   The report was conducted by Decipher, Inc. on behalf of Devicescape and several other players in the WiFi space, and quizzed more than 2,700 WiFi users for their opinions about the technology.   Key findings from the report include:  
  • An overwhelming number of WiFi users expect WiFi while traveling (91%);
  • Most respondents (84%) want citywide WiFi, and many (56%) are willing to pay for it as they would a utility;
  • When traveling, the most-often used device for accessing Wi-Fi was the smartphone, such as an iPhone (vs. laptops);
  • The overwhelming majority of smartphone users (81%) prefer using WiFi over 3G for browsing Web sites, downloading data, Google searches and sending e-mail;
  • 86% of respondents want OEMs to build Wi-Fi into their handsets;
  • 82% of respondents want the service provider to provide an overall 3G/WiFi data package
  The study also found that consumers often find it difficult to get and stay connected to a WiFi network when using a smartphone. The report found that "complicated login screens" were among the most common frustration consumers had when attempting to connect to a WiFi hotspot, and that nearly 90% of handset users want their service provider to offer seamless roaming between 3G and Wi-Fi networks.

Femtocells in the News

January 28, 2009

The femtocell is indicative of much in the technology world these days.   Analysts are generally in agreement that the market opportunity is large, and yet fits and starts - typical of early days in any sector -- abound. Verizon's newly released Network Extender has met with mixed results. T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service was well received, but ran into a bit of a patent issue late last year. And Ars Technica is reporting today that AT&T slipped up and released details of their offering into the space:   The new offering will be called 3G MicroCell, supports voice and 3G data, and allows 4 simultaneous calls or data sessions.   The product details reported on a new AT&T page, since pulled, were discovered by Engadget and SlipperyBrick.   Adding to the femtocell conversation, IntelliNet Technologies today announced the development of a new integrated femtocell gateway, which combines a femtocell access point controller with a carrier grade security gateway in an industry standard AdvancedTCA platform.   The idea behind this offering is to give service providers and wireless operators the ability to manage thousands of femtocells at once.   Anjan Ghosal, president and CEO of IntelliNet Technologies said:   Cellular phone service is now in line with traditional wireline as a subscriber's primary mode of communication.

Analyst: Netbooks to Surge

January 26, 2009

I bought a netbook, then I returned it without even opening it. It was a good deal, but even still the price was so close to the cost of a full-fledged laptop (with optical drive, bigger hard drive, bigger screen, etc...) that I thought I would either continue to live without or simply wait until the next generation of netbooks arrived.   I have always believed that the holidays are the worst time to buy technology as the stuff they announce at CES a month later is always more exciting. (I take buyer's remorse to extreme levels when it comes to gadgets and tech...)   Maybe waiting was a good thing.   ABI Research just released its forecast for a "market explosion" of netbooks, estimating that in 2009 we can expect to see 35 million netbooks shipped, growing to 139 million by 2013.   ABI Research Practice Director Kevin Burden describes the evolution of the portable computing tool, from the PDAs of "old" to the latest ultra-mobile PCs or UMPCs:   PDA's began our reliance on instant accessible data while traveling. When PDA functionality converged with cellular voice, smartphones became the new darling of mobile professional technology that many expected to evolve into the hub for all data and communication needs for travelling professionals.

Point Topic: UK Broadband Subs Down

January 13, 2009

UK researcher Point Topic sent out a release today stating they estimate that fewer than 200,000 new broadband lines were added in the UK in the Q4 2008, which results in less than half of what was originally predicted for the quarter.   Tim Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic:   The main loser was BT Wholesale and its resellers who dropped almost 300,000 lines in 3 months according to our estimates. The local loop unbundlers, mainly Carphone Warehouse, Sky, Tiscali and Orange, did comparatively well in the quarter as consumers churned to their low cost bundles. LLU operators added over 420,000 lines in the period according to BT Openreach figures.   What does the future hold?   Johnson again:   The broadband market has been growing rapidly in the last few years and we project it will continue to add numbers through the recession, just much more slowly. In fact it is striking how falls in broadband growth have closely mirrored the UK's changing Gross Domestic Product.                                          By our calculations, even if the economy shrinks by a further 3% in 2009 then there still will be about 900,000 new broadband customers by next December. That would take the UK total to over 18 million.      

Praise for LTE, WiMAX' Bad Week

January 9, 2009

  Market researcher ABI Research has released a new study that points to continued enthusiasm for LTE deployment.   Coming on the heels of a turbulent week for WiMAX (see: Intel's $950 million investment write-down and Nokia ceasing production of its only WiMAX device) it's a positive sign indeed for this 4G technology.   Now before we get carried away with the premature burial of WiMAX, it's important to note that Clearwire did light up a new city this week (Portland, OR) and has plans to start service in up to nine other cities in 2009. Let's wait before we get out the shovels.   Still ABI's report Long Term Evolution (LTE) draws attention to the fact that Verizon, (possibly sensing some blood in the water?) has reportedly moved up their LTE deployment plans by a year, from 2010 to 2009.   ABI notes that globally, 18 operators have announced LTE rollout plans.   Writing in the recent report, ABI Research senior analyst Nadine Manjaro said,   ABI Research believes that NTT will also deploy LTE in Japan in 2009. We forecast that by 2013 operators will spend over $8.6 billion on LTE base station infrastructure alone. For operators that have already deployed 3G networks, LTE will be a key CAPEX driver over the next five years.   Manjaro also notes that LTE application development could be a major driver of investment as operators explore which services to deploy.   As an example, Manjaro looks to Sprint and Verizon and their plans to provide third-party access to their GPS data.   The resulting new applications will tie mobility and presence aspects together to create more compelling services than in the past.
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