According to cloud networking provider Meraki, mobile devices make up the majority of Wi-Fi networks use, bypassing traditional computers for the first time. In 2010, computers using Windows or Mac OS X made up 64% of devices that accessed Wi-Fi networks, with iOS devices coming in at 32% and Android devices at 1%. Contrast that with 2011, in which iOS and Android combined to make up 58% of Wi-Fi use, while computers dwindled to 36%. Apple’s iPhone is the most popular device on Wi-Fi (32%); Android devices account for 11%. Another interesting statistic Meraki uncovered concerned iPad use: while these devices accounted for 3.4% of connections, users were consuming an average of almost 200 megabytes per month when connected.
The Cable Show went down in Chicago the week of 13 June, and among its highlights was the launching of advanced home security services by a number of broadband and cable operators. Comcast, of course, had expanded its suite of home security programs recently, while Comporium Communications did an on-site demonstration of its newly unveiled smart home management offerings. Both home security services are based on iControl, a leader in the segment. With other telcos (such as Verizon and SureWest Communications) also debuting home security suites, it appears that this market is fast becoming another point of contention in the ongoing struggle between telcos and cable companies.
With mobile devices becoming more and more powerful and prevalent, the need to simplify wireless connectivity among the devices is becoming increasingly important. ABI Research’s new study, “Smartphones in the Connected Home,” looks at the trends associated with the seamless integration of mobile devices into home networks (especially DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct) and the possible impact existing and future cloud services will have on these programs. The report also examines broadband and connectivity trends that affect the market for mobile devices featuring home connectivity capability, while making forecasts about smartphone and media tablet shipments by region.
It’s looking more and more like the battle between WiMax and LTE to become the dominant global cellular broadband standard has been decided in LTE’s favor, especially in the face of large-scale LTE deployments coming to heavily populated countries like India and China during the second half 2011. According to Michael Higgins, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent Wireless Competence Centre in the Asia-Pacific region, “For operators, the choice of technology takes a back seat compared to the availability of a strong ecosystem of devices to support the business case.” He goes on to claim that many large operators now view LTE as the universal next-generation wireless broadband technology.
You may have asked yourself that very same question. Here are some answers. Comcast is doing plenty of stuff. They’re testing a new video conferencing service in partnership with Skype that will one day be offered to all Comcast Xfinity subscribers. The cable giant is also expanding its Xfinity Home Security service (tested in Houston in 2010) by offering it in seven new markets. They’re also expanding the reach of “Xfinity Signature Support,” which offers tech support for home networks and PCs, to several new areas. Finally, they’ve announced that they’ve teamed with Intersections Incorporated to offer free identity theft protection services, which include the “Constant Guard Protection Suite.” The Suite provides, among other things, one-click secure log-in to banks, password storage, credit card protection, and keystroke concealment.
For information, see the following:
Cisco continued its “ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of visual networking applications” by announcing the availability of its latest study, “Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010-2015.” Among the highlights:
• Within 4 years, annual global IP traffic will reach nearly a zettabyte (996 exabytes)
• Global IP networks will deliver over 7 petabytes every 5 minutes in 2015
Pew Research also released results from a new survey, “Internet Phone Calls.” They found that nearly a quarter of American adult Internet users have placed an online call, while, on any given day, 5% of Internet users go online to place phone calls. Both of these figures represent notable increases from results tallied in previous Pew surveys.
For more information, go to http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-481360_ns827_Networking_Solutions_White_Paper.html
See also http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2006/internet-online-phone-call-skype-vonage
We’re proud to announce another technological marvel. Our Multi-LAN Network Adapter just hit the market, and it’s a network bridging powerhouse. It’s so versatile, it can be configured to work as a standalone wireless access point, or a wireless adapter, or even a wireless extender to an existing wireless network. You can connect any Ethernet-capable device in your entertainment center (set-top box, Blu-ray player, DVR, gaming console) to the Adapter, and it will connect to the Adapter’s wireless network, and then out to the Internet. Or, you may have wireless “dead spots” around the house that the Adapter can eliminate by acting as a wireless extender. By seamlessly integrating multiple networking technologies, the Multi-LAN Network Adapter creates the fastest whole-home network.
For more, see http://www.actiontec.com/products/view_news.php?nid=270
In a pair of somewhat related announcements concerning the Xbox 360, Microsoft revealed that the gaming console will soon be the recipient of a still-hazy live TV streaming service, while also boasting that it has broken the 55 million unit barrier in year 6 of its life cycle. The streaming service, which the company declined to describe in any kind of detail, would “change living room entertainment forever,” according to the press release. Current Xbox Live subscribers already enjoy Netflix, Hulu Plus, and ESPN as streaming partners. As for the Xbox 360 sales numbers, not only has Microsoft sold a massive number of the ubiquitous white boxes, sales continue to accelerate due to upgrades and add-ons such as Kinect, a trend that “no other console in history can…claim.”
Also see http://www.fierceiptv.com/story/microsoft-softly-debuts-streaming-live-tv-xbox/2011-06-06?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal
Unveiling a “mix-and-match” approach to options previously locked down in a three-tier configuration, Verizon announced today that it will allow new and some existing customers to pick and choose among various upgrade paths. Previously, the company offered three levels of FiOS service, with the speed of the connection tied to the number of TV channels selected. Now, users can enjoy a smaller bundle of broadcasting, but still bump up their Internet connection 25 or 35 Mbps, for a nominal additional fee. New customers will be offered these options, as will existing customers coming off contract.
At the keynote presentation that opens its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple announced iCloud. Expanding and improving upon the company’s previous cloud storage offering, MobileMe, iCloud is intended to back up important device data, including calendars, contacts, applications, and photos, on Apple’s servers. The company had previously highlighted its new, state-of-the-art data center in Maiden, North Carolina. Users will get 5GB of free storage, and add up to 10 devices on one account. Also included are extensive iTunes integration and new Photo Stream synching service.
Today is the day. On 8 Jun 2011, major organizations the world over will be participating in World IPv6 Day. Google, Yahoo, and Limelight Networks are among the companies that are offering their content on IPv6 during this 24-hour “test flight.” World IPv6 Day was organized to motivate companies in the industry to prepare for the eventual transition to IPv6 as IPv4 addresses dwindle.
For more information, go to http://www.worldipv6day.org/
TDS, one of the leading rural telcos in the country, has begun rolling out VDSL2 technology in its service regions. Users in Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin will be receiving VDSL2 in the near future. This expansion is part of TDS’s plan to get more out of its existing copper network while delivering advanced services to its customers. While they are trying to get VDSL2 to as many customers as possible, technical challenges (such as VDSL2 working much better on loop lengths less than 4000 ft.) will prevent TDS from expanding the upgraded service to every eligible household.
For more details, see http://www.ospmag.com/issue/article/TDS-Pursues-VDSL2-as-Coppers-Holy-Grail
Another startup, another potentially game-changing technology. Using $4.5 million in VC funding, Bamboom is testing a new service in New York state and Connecticut that allows users to watch broadcast television on any connected device, be they laptop computers, smartphones, or Internet-capable televisions. The company, based in New York, uses an approach that involves miniature antennas connected to the cloud that capture the broadcast stream. However, only in-market content is available; viewers in Chicago, for example, would not be able to watch shows from Houston. Bamboom has also announced integration with Netflix, but no information about a possible national rollout or pricing tiers have been released.
Comcast is planning to test a new system that would allow consumers to replace their set top box with any Internet-ready device, including gaming consoles or laptop computers. Starting this fall, Comcast will start test cycles at MIT to use its broadband network to deliver content using VoIP. Instead of using the same technology that currently allows a user to watch select television shows on his or her computer, this new venture has Comcast streaming their entire lineup over the Internet. While Comcast has maintained that it has no plans to offer this new system in areas it does not serve, it is technically feasible to do so, and probably has competitors like TimeWarner and Cablevision feeling pretty nervous.
The fact of the matter is, end users are becoming more sophisticated, and as they become so, their collection of connected devices grows. Broadband Forum (as well as their predecessor, DSL Forum) has acknowledged this continual surge forward, and they address it in their latest spec, BroadbandSuite 4.1. This new specification will improve the existing TR-069 specification, including allowing service providers the ability to provision and manage applications running on the home network, but for now, the focus will remain on streamlining DSL to deliver high speeds and enhance service delivery.