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Sep 05
Mobile Internet will continue to drive mobile revenues

In the first quarter (1Q) of 2014, the worldwide mobile service revenue increased 0.58% year-on-year (YoY) to US$264 billion according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), and the aggregate service revenue for 2014 will grow 2.9% YoY to US$1.01 trillion, mainly driven by the robust growth of the mobile Internet market.

Proliferating mobile data subscriptions and enhanced network capacity will drive global mobile Internet service revenue to US$456.7 billion by 2019—44.7% of total mobile service revenue, says the research group. Despite global service revenue growth, the Western European market is declining: 1Q 2014 service revenue declined 5.2% YoY.

"Facing continued price pressure driven by the competitive mobile market, mobile carriers have had to take on higher subscriber retention and acquisition costs to support their market positions. This has affected profitability," says Marina Lu, research...

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Sep 04
30% of U.S. broadband households own and use at least...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) says that nearly 30% of U.S. broadband households own and use at least one connected health device.

"Demographic trends and limited availability of long-term care services are driving many people around the world to examine independent living at home technologies," says Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. "In the U.S. and Canada in particular, the private sector is the driving force for this market, and new technologies  make independent living both financially viable and technologically feasible.

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Sep 03
Internet of Things driving wireless connected devices...

According to an updated market forecast from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), the installed base of active wireless connected devices will exceed 16 billion in 2014, about 20% more than in 2013. The number of devices will more than double from the current level, with 40.9 billion forecasted for 2020.

"The driving force behind the surge in connections is that usual buzzword suspect, the Internet of Things (IoT)," says ABI Research principal analyst Aapo Markkanen. "If we look at this year’s installed base, smartphones, PCs, and other ‘hub’ devices represent still 44% of the active total, but by end-2020 their share is set to drop to 32%. In other words, 75% of the growth between today and the end of the decade will come from non-hub devices: sensor nodes and accessories."

From every technology supplier’s strategic point of view, the critical question is how this plethora of IoT devices will...

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Sep 02
The Northern Spy: iSchool (or the pitter patter of...

By Rick Sutcliffe

September is supposed to be back to school, but here in British Columbia of the frozen north, the public school teachers union and the Provincial government are so far away from each other in their contract positions that the mediator they consulted walked away from the dispute because his involvement had no prospect of success.

It doesn't help that after a previous government gave the union a sweetheart deal on class size and conditions the current one first tore the contract up then lost a lawsuit over the matter. An appeal seems unlikely to succeed, so expect the government to legislate the union back to work by mid October or so. Meanwhile, no prospect of back-to-school technology sales here, especially to the families of teachers in the public K-12 system.

The union executive needs to restrain its desire to control the classroom and moderate its salary demands, while the government needs to recognize that class...

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Sep 02
25% of U.S. broadband households with smart home...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds that roughly 25% of U.S. broadband households with smart home devices experience problems monthly. As a result, interest in tech support services among smart home device owners is strong-57% of consumers with an IP security camera and 58% of consumers with a smart electronic door lock or thermostat would value tech support services for these solutions.

"Smart home packages currently hold broad appeal among U.S. consumers, and last week, Parks Associates announced nearly 4% of U.S. households will have a smart home controller by the end of 2014, with an estimated increase to nearly 6% by 2015," says Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Support providers must be equipped to handle the growing demand for on-boarding and ongoing enablement services to ensure that consumers have optimal experiences with their smart home...

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Aug 29
Connected management mega-trend drives the global...

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight (www.berginsight.com), the global number of mobile network connections used for wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communication will increase by 21% in 2014 to reach 213.9 million at the year-end.

East Asia, Western Europe and North America are the main regional markets, accounting for around 75% of the installed base. In the next five years, the global number of wireless M2M connections is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9% to reach 599.7 million in 2019. The mega-trend driving technology adoption in Europe and North America is what Berg Insight calls the concept of connected management.

"The IT-revolution has created new opportunities to collect and analyse data for the purpose of managing objects and behaviours," says Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst, Berg Insight. "Connected management is based...

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Aug 28
64% of all smart devices are part of a security or...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) says that nearly 4% of U.S. households will have a smart home controller by the end of 2014, with an estimated increase to nearly 6% by 2015.

The research group's study, which includes data from a 1Q 2014 survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households, also reports 64% of all smart devices currently in households operate as part of a security or home controls system. Smart devices include motorized door controls, lighting controls, networked security camera, and programmable thermostats, among other devices.

"The smart home is an emerging market with multiple channels, from service channels to retailers such as Staples and Lowe's," says Tom Kerber, director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. "The majority of smart devices installed today were acquired as part of a security or home controls system deployed by providers...

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Aug 27
Indoor location market worth $3.9 billion by 2019

MarketsandMarkets (www.marketsandmarkets.com) says the indoor location market will be worth US$3.9 billion by 2019. The pressing needs from the end customers for location based services are playing the major role in defining the future of the market, adds the research group.

The advent of hybrid positioning systems, location based analytics and real time tracking and navigation solutions are the products of huge demand for indoor location based products. Companies are putting sincere efforts in building customer specific products. Major players in this market are Apple, Broadcom, Cisco, Ericsson, Google, Nokia, Microsoft, Motorola, Qualcomm and Siemens.

MarketsandMarkets has segmented the global Indoor Location Market by type of software solutions: indoor maps and navigation and indoor location-based analytics; by type of positioning systems: network-based positioning, independent...

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Aug 26
Worldwide sales of connected digital fitness trackers...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) says that the number of connected digital trackers sold worldwide rose from 6.6 million in 2012 to 13.6 million in 2013 and will double again in 2014 to exceed 22 million. Factors driving consumer adoption of these device include the impact of new solutions such as the Fitbit, Google Fit, and Apple's HealthKit.

"Connected trackers will account for 52% of all digital fitness tracker unit sales in 2014 and reach 81% by 2018 (66 million units)," says Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. "Smart watches are another wearables category poised for tremendous growth, with sales of almost 18 million units worldwide in 2014 and 121 million in 2018. These connected devices open new avenues for new fitness apps, health solutions, and data analytics. Connected Health Summit features multiple sessions with industry...

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Aug 22
OTT video services see opportunity to differentiate...

4K or Ultra HD is the future, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint to higher resolutions.  And while 1080p TV screens are the norm and mobile screen resolutions continue to climb, plenty of streamed HD content is still distributed in 720p or lower.  Over-the-top (OTT) services such as Netflix, VUDU, and M-GO, which exclusively distribute content over the Internet, are more eager to embrace 1080p and Ultra HD for connected CE devices in order to appear more innovative, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Meanwhile, traditional distributors, with regards to TV Everywhere content, are more likely to settle for 720p as they consider smartphones and tablets the primary targets; continuing to leverage existing Pay TV services as their "main" distribution channel for TVs – OTT operators likewise favor lower resolutions for mobile devices.

OTT (over-the-top) streamer shipments are forecast to rise...

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Aug 21
ABI Research: high profile data breaches drive $1.7...

Cyber-attacks directed against enterprises have grown both in numbers and sophistication over the past decade to a point where breach and data theft have become inevitable, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). In 2013, more than 800 million records were exposed as a result of data breach incidents.

A number of organizations including online auction site eBay, U.S. retailer Target, telecom operator AT&T, and social networking sites Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn have reported massive data breaches in recent months, according to the research group. Hacking remains the leading cause for most attacks followed by malware and physical attacks such as point-of-sale intrusions and card skimming.

A data breach incident can have disastrous consequences on all businesses resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue and potential fines, not to mention the lingering impact on...

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Aug 20
U.S. video entertainment spending to hit $123 billion...

The overall US video entertainment market (subscription Pay-TV, box office, packaged home video, Pay-TV VoD and paid-for online video) continues to grow in low single digits, reaching $120 billion in 2013 — a 2% increase on 2012 — and is on track to peak at $123 billion in 2015, according to the latest industry report from Futuresource Consulting (www.futuresource-consulting.com).

"At $120 billion, this approximates to an average of $1,000 being spent on video entertainment by every US household," says David Sidebottom, senior market analyst, Futuresource Consulting. "This is by far the highest in the world, and significantly higher than any European country."

The US video market commands a unique position on the world stage, driven by an extensive choice of viewing options and a strong culture of new technology adoption: digital video spend in the US is larger than the rest...

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Aug 19
IDC: Worldwide IT market showing tentative signs of...

According to new data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com), recent volatility will gradually give way to a more positive outlook for IT spending in the second half of 2014.

With the U.S. and other mature economies mostly heading in the right direction and a significant commercial PC refresh cycle already underway, improvements in business confidence are set to drive a moderate infrastructure upgrade cycle over the next 12-18 months, while investments in software and services will continue to accelerate, says the research group.

Worldwide IT spending is now forecast to increase by 4.5% in 2014 at constant currency, or 4.1% in U.S. dollars. A significant proportion of this growth is still being driven by smartphones – IT spending excluding mobile phones will increase by just 3.1% this year in constant currency (2.8% in U.S. dollars).

Aside from smartphones, the strongest growth will come from software,...

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Aug 18
Data center end user take-up has doubled year-on-year

New research just released by GVA Connect (gatewaydatacentre.co.uk), the data center specialist division of property adviser GVA, showed that the take-up of data center space by end users such as corporate occupiers, government agencies and IT Integrators more than doubled in the first half of 2014 compared to this time last year.
 
"With continued acquisition by data center operators through 2013 and a sharp increase of end user take up in Q1/2014, our research shows the continued growth in take up of both co-location and wholesale data centre space by end users which is rewarding those commitments by operators to expand existing sites as well as developing new sites," says GVA Connect director Charles Carden.
 
Total take up (including operators and end users) in H1/2014 increased by 14% compared to the same period in 2013. Within that, the volume of end user transactions more than doubled from a total of 13MW in H1/2013 to 30MW in H1/2014.

"...

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Aug 15
Mobile media revenue to approach $380 billion by 2018

The Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) predicts spending on consumer mobile media services consumed via the handset (which excludes tablet spend) including handset browsing, mobile applications, mobile games, mobile music, mobile video, mobile TV, ringtones, wallpapers and alerts will rise from just above US$236 billion in 2013 to approach $380 billion by 2018.

Mobile operators will remain the main beneficiaries with spending on mobile data accounting for over $254 Billion, or 67.3 percent, of total mobile media revenue by 2018. Strong mobile advertising revenue growth will eclipse consumer spend on premium content, rising at just below 20% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the next five years.

In advanced mobile media regions, like North America and Western Europe, demand for web browsing, games, apps and social media services will continue to drive mobile data...

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Aug 14
Will TV providers get beaten to the punch by Smart TVs...

Smart applications and more interaction with the TV, both with different devices and for better navigation without a cumbersome TV remote, are priorities for consumers’ next TV purchase in the UK and US.

A recent study from the Digital Home Observatory (DHO) at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) surveying consumers in the UK and USA, found that functionalities such as being able to mirror a smartphone’s display, or providing a simplified human-machine interface (HMI), for example through voice or gesture control, were highly appealing features. However, such capabilities come at a cost. Rather than snapping up a more expensive smart TV, consumers are now looking to less costly media solutions such as Google Chromecastor and Roku, to provide such features.
 
"As traditional TV continues to be threatened by over-the-top subscription based video-on-demand (OTT SVOD), TV...

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Aug 13
Study: consumers want innovation, customization in...

Mobile phone users are ready for new options in data pricing and on-device solutions that provide them with more ability to control and personalize their mobile service, according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

The survey reveals 60% of mobile phone owners want to be able to customize their plans, and 50% are interested in the ability to directly purchase more data in real-time from their device. Strategy Analytics surveyed over 500 mobile phone users in each of six mobile markets (China, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the U.S.). Key findings include:

°  60% of mobile phone users are interested in customization of their service plan, with particularly high interest in China (74%) the US (67%) and the UK (58%).

° 50% express interest in a real-time, on-device option to monitor data use and purchase more data.

° In China, interest in plan option for...

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Aug 12
Report: Iliad's T-Mobile bid risks US wireless...

Iliad’s surprise bid for T-Mobile would leave Sprint the least able to compete if wireless prices tumble, according to the "Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS)" service report (http://bit.ly/1kqfg6V).

While Strategy Analytics believes the bid will ultimately fail, it represents a wake-up call for all the carriers in the increasingly saturated market. Key findings from the report:

° Iliad’s Free has had a dramatic impact on the French market, driving a 29% decline in service revenue and 19% decline in EBITDA since its launch.

° Iliad’s founder, Xavier Niel, is also an investor in Israel’s Golan Telecom, who’s aggressive mobile launch two years’ ago has had an equally dramatic impact on the market.

° Despite good logic to a bid by an operator keen to play outside the contracting European market, Iliad is unlikely to have an appetite for a bidding war with Softbank.

"...

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Aug 11
Consumers find cloud DVR technology appealing

Over 45% of U.S. pay-TV subscribers find cloud DVR technology very appealing, according to new research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) notes that consumers show particular interest in unlimited storage space and two-week catch-up services for video.

With the Supreme Court omitting cloud DVR in its 2014 Aereo ruling, pay-TV providers can experiment with these cloud services as strategies to build subscriber loyalty and increase revenues.

"The Aereo case left licensing for cloud DVR rights largely unaffected, allowing pay-TV providers to move forward with cloud DVR development and implementation," says Glenn Hower, research analyst, Parks Associates. "For example, Comcast recently launched in Atlanta its X1 DVR service, which allows, among other capabilities, subscribers to access DVR recordings on their mobile devices. As content owners and providers experiment with cloud...

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Aug 08
Smart cities to rise fourfold from 2013 to 2025

The number of smart cities worldwide will quadruple within a 12-year period that started last year, proliferating as local governments work with the private sector to cope with a multitude of challenges confronting urban centers, according to a new report from IHS Technology (http://www.ihs.com). 

There will be at least 88 smart cities all over the world by 2025, up from 21 in 2013, based on the IHS definition of a smart city, according to the research group. While the combined Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region represented the largest number of smart cities last year, Asia-Pacific will take over the lead in 2025. In all, Asia-Pacific will account for 32 smart cities of the total in nine years’ time, Europe will have 31, and the Americas will contribute 25.

"Smart cities encompass a broad range of different aspects, but IHS has narrowed the definition of the term to describe cities that have deployed—or...

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Aug 07
Graphic Node launches new Set for iWork Plus

Graphic Node (http://www.graphicnode.com) has introduced Set for iWork Plus 1.0, a new collection of iWork templates designed to help OS X users make the best of Apple's iWork productivity applications.

The new pack for Apple's Pages, Keynote, and Numbers contains over 3,000 templates and images, including Graphic Node's first set of 50 scrapbook templates. All templates are editable and available in the US and international paper sizes. The designs range from traditional and formal to friendly and unconventional.

Set for iWork Plus requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, Pages '09 or later, Keynote  '09 or later, and Numbers '09 or later. For a limited time, it's available for US$39.99 at the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

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Aug 07
GPS tracking devices to break $3.5 billion in 2019

Health, commercial/enterprise, wearables, and iBeacons will help to revive the GPS tracking device market, with ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasting the market to reach over $3.5 billion in 2019.

The GPS personal tracking market has always had huge potential yet it has faced huge barriers around awareness and RoI (return on investment), expensive devices, cellular subscriptions, indoor location and severe regionalization and fragmentation, according to the research group. As a result the market has never been able to scale sufficiently to lower costs and create the revenue to support much needed marketing/advertising campaigns.

"The potential of this market continues to draw investment and interest. Over the last 12 months, there has been a host of companies entering this space," ABI Research Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly says. "As well as a steady stream of start-ups like estimate and...

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Aug 06
Survey: NSA, retail breaches influenced corporate...

Sixty eight percent of businesses stated that the NSA breach by Edward Snowden and the number of retail/point of sale (PoS) system breaches in the past year were the most impactful in terms of changing security strategies to protect against the latest threats, according to a global survey by the CyberArk (www.cyberark.com) security company.

The majority of organizations surveyed believe that attacks reaching the privileged account takeover stage are the most difficult to detect, respond to and remediate. While the NSA breach is widely regarded as the prototypical insider-based attack, and the retail/PoS breaches are regarded similarly for outside attacks, the critical link between both attacks was the compromise and exploitation of privileged credentials.

When asked which cyber-attacks or data breaches in the past year had the biggest impact on their business’ security strategy:

° 37% of...

| Read more »
Aug 05
IDC: Network virtualization to revolutionize...

According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), network virtualization is set to revolutionize the telecom industry as it transforms the culture and operational infrastructure, as well as the fabric of legacy proprietary infrastructures that have, until now, dominated the space.

As technologies and business dynamics continue to evolve, network virtualization strategies are reshaping the telecommunications ecosystem, says the research group. The shift to the third platform — built on cloud, mobile, social, and big data and analytics technologies — is driving communication service providers (CSPs) and their suppliers to accelerate their efficiencies and agility IT industry approaches and technologies such as virtualization, balanced with telecom industry business considerations are coming to the forefront of telecom industry dynamics.
Communication service providers and their suppliers are embracing the promise and...

| Read more »
Aug 04
Consumers will research online, but buy in-store

The back-to-school (BTS) shopping season in the U.S. is already in full swing, with over one-third (37%) of consumers having begun their shopping – up from the 29% who started at this time last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Roughly 90% of households indicated a selection of brick-and-mortar retail as a shopping venue for the BTS season.

Consumers will shop in a variety of places for their BTS items this year. While discounters are still expected to be the winners, the number of households selecting this shopping venue dropped from 90% last year to 80% this year. For all 2014 BTS shopping venues, discounters represented a 23.7% share of where consumers will shop, according to ICSC.

Many retailers found in regional malls and open-air centers, such as office supply stores, traditional department stores, electronic stores, and apparel specialty stores, should see increased activity during the BTS season. The biggest mover was...

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