Mobile Broadband Lifts Telecom Revenues

In its newly released report, “Service Provider Capex, Opex, ARPU, and Subscribers,” Infonetics Research analyzes telecom carrier capital expenditures (capex), operational expenses (opex), revenue per user, and subscriber trends by operator, operator type, region, and telecom equipment segment. Among the report’s highlights:

  • Telecom carrier revenue is forecast to grow to $2.17 trillion by 2017, driven by mobile broadband
  • The global telecom carrier capex will total $310.8 billion in 2011, an increase of 5.8% from 2010
  • The fastest-growing investment areas among telecom carriers in 2011 are WiMAX equipment and video infrastructure.
  • Asia Pacific will continue to be the largest telecom carrier capex region through 2015

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Apple Rumored to be Developing “iTV”

We’ve been hearing about it for a while, with whispers and clues spread across the Internet, and the longer these things go on, the more likely they turn out to be true. Jefferies and Co. analyst Peter Misek is the latest to report on what has developed into the hot rumor that just won’t die: Apple is in the process of creating a connected TV that will debut in 2012. According to Misek, among the features “iTV” will possess is the ability to let viewers use both voice control and hand gestures to navigate TV and Web video content. Whether the company will be able to compete, pricewise, with TVs from Vizio, Samsung, Sony, and others, remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Microsoft will offer updated gesture and voice control through its Xbox 360 (when configured with Kinect) in December 2011, and cable vendors are also planning to release voice-controlled set-top boxes in the near future. Apple, as always, remains silent on its future plans.

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Actiontec offsets over 6 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions in 2011 through PG&E’s ClimateSmart program

Actiontec Electronics today announced that it has balanced out more than 39,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in 2011 through its participation in PG&E’s ClimateSmart™ program. That represents more than 6% of all carbon dioxide produced at the company’s Sunnyvale headquarters this year.

Actiontec’s participation in ClimateSmart is part of the company’s overall commitment to minimize its environmental impact. Through its formal Sustainability Program, the company has launched a series of green initiatives, including: a 20% reduction in water consumption, stringent recycling and reuse goals (such as 90% scrap product recycling), and a 5% reduction in energy consumption company-wide.

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Kindle Fire Goes Head to Head With iPad

With the holiday season upon us, Parks Associates has unveiled an appropriate report, titled “Consumer Decision Process: Holiday Intentions.” The most interesting facet of the report is in regards to the consumer reaction to the newly-released Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon: among all households who say they intend to buy a consumer electronics product, 51% would choose the $199 Fire, while 49% opt for the $499 iPad 2. When demographics are broken out, however, things change. Older customers continued to prefer the Amazon product, while higher income and higher education consumers go for the iPad. Finally, among shoppers who say they are likely to buy a tablet by the end of the year, 62% intend to come home with the iPad, while only 38% plan to purchase the Fire.

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Have a Great Turkey Day!

All of us here at Actiontec wish all of you the very best during your Thanksgiving holiday.

Gaming Explodes Due to Smartphones, Tablets

In a new consumer research project titled “Online Gaming and Digital Distribution,” Parks Associates found that the number of gamers more than doubled over the past three years, thanks in main part to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. The firm’s data shows that the number of people who play at least one hour of videogames per month grew from 56 million in 2008 to 135 million in 2011. Most of these newcomers are casual gamers, playing games such as Farmville or Angry Birds on both social networks and mobile devices. Meanwhile, gaming consoles are losing their market dominance, and MMORPG games, the traditional realm of the hardcore gamer, have stagnated over recent years.

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New Study finds IPTV and Satellite Gaining Vs. Cable

Infonetics Research released a new study recently: “Pay TV Services and Subscribers.” In it, the firm analyzes the telco Internet protocol television (IPTV), cable video, and satellite video services markets. Among its highlights:

  • the global pay TV market totaled $125 billion in the first half of 2011, and is forecast to grow to $353 billion by 2015
  • the majority of growth in the pay TV market will come from satellite video and telco IPTV services
  • North America remains the highest-value pay TV market, with the highest average revenue per user (ARPU), followed by Asia Pacific
  • In the first half of 2011, the top 20 pay TV revenue leaders accounted for 52% of revenue, while the top 20 subscriber leaders made up only 29% of total subscribers

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Boxee Introduces Live TV Dongle

GigaOM contributer Janko Roettgers, rooting around an unreleased build of Boxee’s 1.5 update recently, discovered this little gem: Boxee owners will soon be able to access local live TV through their Boxes with the help of a special USB dongle. The dongle serves as a tuner for free-over-the-air HD TV signals. The update, including dongle, will probably be rolled out in the next couple of weeks. Roettgers sees this as Boxee’s latest effort in getting people to “cut-the-cord,” as viewers will not have to switch back and forth between inputs on their TV to watch local programming when using the service.

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How Will 5G Networks Evolve?

As 4G networks enter the mainstream and develop further, what can we expect from what marketers will undoubtedly christen 5G? Expect shorter distances between users and base stations and automatic reconfigurations, according to Hkan Djuphamme, vice president of architecture and portfolio at Ericsson. He claims that LTE is approaching the limit of what is physically possible on the network, and instead of developing another standard from scratch, the continued evolution of wireless networks may depend on “het nets,” a mixture of traditional large base stations and smaller cells placed in areas that see heavy use.

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3D Still Not Beloved by Consumers

Although the marketing push for 3DTV ramped up considerably this year, it seems that consumers were able to ignore that 3D siren song. Why? A number of reasons, most likely. The tech behind 3D is still more expensive (even with the recent price drops), the content is pretty limited, and the glasses are a non-starter. As Retrovo discovered while mining for new data, one third of shoppers polled were planning to buy a new HDTV in the coming year, but of these, only a small fraction were looking to pick up a 3DTV. Retrovo suspects that once blockbuster events like the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards go 3D, the momentum may shift, but even then, it’s no sure thing.

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November CrossTalk Newsletter Available

The November 2011 edition of CrossTalk is hot off the digital presses, containing plenty of breaking news, relevant free and for pay market research, and a handy compendium of upcoming events. Stay up to date with all things telco and broadband by getting your November 2011 CrossTalk today.

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Gaming Consoles Most Popular For Online Content Viewing on TV Screens

Even though the standard PC remains the dominant way to view online content overall, gaming consoles have emerged as the preferred way for consumers to access online videos on television screens, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. The report, “Multiscreen Connected TV: Assessing Device Usage and Ownership,” found that 15 million domestic households, or 12% of total households, use consoles to watch content online, besting the number connecting PCs via HDMI to televisions. Hoping to take advantage of this trend, Microsoft recently announced plans to bring 40 television and entertainment providers to its Xbox Live service, including Bravo and HBO GO, while other content providers are also formulating plans to provide additional content in the near future.

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J&R Offers Free MyWirelessTV to Contest Winner

J&R, an online and brick-and-mortar electronics retailer based in New York City, is running a contest in which the winner will receive an Actiontec MyWirelessTV Multi-room Wireless HD Video Kit. All you have to do is fill in an online entry form before November 18, and you’re in. J&R reviewed MyWirelessTV recently (even making an accompanying video review), and gave it good marks, noting that the “signal quality was quite good,” even though they made sure there were “a few walls in the way” between the Receiver and Transmitter.

To enter the contest, go to

To read J&R’s MyWirelessTV review, see

New Study Predicts Massive Wireless Demand in Near Future

Global Information Industry Center at the University of California at San Diego released a new study that predicts heavy weather for wireless customers as data demands and network congestion will affect their ability to connect online. The report notes that U.S. wireless networks have traditionally doubled their capacity every 30 months to keep up with demand; unfortunately, with demand expected increase by 1800% in the next four years, that rate of expansion will not keep up with the anticipated date volume. The study concludes that wireless customers may need to lower their expectations for wireless services in the future.

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Facebook Eclipses Soap Operas, Game Shows?

New survey statistics have found that Facebook use has drawn ahead of television watching during working hours. According to the Frank M. Magid Associates Generation Strategies study, all age groups except “boomers” (those aged 47-65) are now accessing the social network more often than watching television during the 9am – 5pm daily time period. For marketing firms looking to test the social media advertising waters, daytime appears to be prime time for a wide swath of Facebook users. By evening hours, however, online activity ebbs as television viewership rises. Even so, a significant percentage of the survey respondents said they still check Facebook during the evening.

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Actiontec’s MyWirelessTV Hits Stores

Actiontec Electronics, a leading manufacturer of broadband-powered solutions, announced today the retail release of MyWirelessTV. MyWirelessTV replaces HDMI cables with a wireless transmitter and receiver to enable users to watch TV anywhere in their homes, delivering 1080p video from up to 150 ft. away, with no latency, over a dedicated 5Ghz Wi-Fi network. This allows displays to be mounted over fireplaces without unsightly wires, or HD televisions to be moved hassle-free into the patio or garage while still accessing video content. Additional transmitter and receivers can be added to support multiple source or multiple display scenarios. MyWirelessTV was also named a CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Award Honoree.

Actiontec Picks up Two CES Innovations Awards

Actiontec announced today that it won two CES Innovations 2012 Honoree Awards for Excellence in Design and Engineering: one for MyWirelessTV, the wireless solution that replaces HDMI cables, and the SG400 Service Gateway, a gateway that powers the entire smart home. Selected by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, engineers, and members of the media, the awards honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting-edge consumer electronics products. MyWirelessTV replaces HDMI cables with an 802.11 Wi-Fi signal between transmitter(s) and receiver(s), and features little to no latency, even at 150 ft. The SG400 Service Gateway is designed to be a lifeline to the connected home. Featuring all the latest connectivity standards (Z-Wave, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), it ties together all devices and services in the home, from security alarms to wireless cameras to house lights. With its integrated 3G/4G radio and external battery backup, the SG400 Service Gateway makes sure that users stay connected to their smart homes, despite power outages or network failures.

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Smartphones, Tablets Account for 7% of Domestic Traffic

According to comScore’s latest report, “Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits,” smartphones and tablets drive nearly 7% of total U.S. digital traffic. The study goes on to analyze how cross-platform use continues to change the digital landscape, especially as consumers adopt a wide-ranging collection of devices to create and consume content. Other findings include:

  • Smartphones account for nearly two-thirds of domestic non-computer traffic, with tablets making up the remainder
  • Half the U.S. mobile population uses mobile media, an increase of 19% from last year
  • Nearly 50% of tablet owners made a purchase on their tablet, and used their device extensively throughout the entire shopping and purchasing experience, from initial planning through comparative product research and continuing with the final transaction
  • Interestingly, although the Android platform dominates the smartphone market (43.7 percent in August 2011), its total audience among mobile devices lags behind that of Apple’s iOS audience.

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Netflix Fills Up the Internet Pipe

In a newly released study, Sandvine found that 32% of all Internet traffic at peak hours is Netflix-related, with peak downstream traffic reaching 60%, a full 10% increase since spring of this year. Sandvine, an “intelligent network manufacturer,” also found that mean usage on fixed networks is down while video usage is up, and that the much-heralded “Post-PC Era” may be upon us, with the majority of devices connecting to the Internet being non-PCs (smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, etc.). Other interesting findings:

  • Mobile video’s popularity continues to rise, garnering nearly 33% of peak downstream traffic.
  • Marketplace traffic accounts from 9.4% of peak downstream traffic, led by Apple and Google.
  • The overall traffic gap between “light” and “heavy” Internet users is widening, with more data being used during the small peak period window.

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J.D. Power Ranks Various ISPs

J.D. Power is at its ranking game again, taking a look at ISPs by geographic region and rating them on a scale from 1 to 1000. The results? Verizon took top honors in the East and South, while WOW ranked best in the North and Cox in the West. As for customer satisfaction issues,  the survey found that speed expectations were reached 69% of the time, and exceeded 17% of the time, while only 14% found their speed expectations disappointed. Outages were up as well, year to year, with support calls rising from 81% last year to 92% in 2011.

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Verizon to Roll Out Residential LTE

Verizon executives recently announced that a national rollout of a fixed broadband LTE voice and data package could be introduced to customers in the fourth quarter of 2011. The package will be based on the “cantenna,” a fixed antenna that the company had previously deployed with DirectTV. As for FiOS service, the company hinted that geographical expansion was not imminent, and that they probably would concentrate their FiOS investments in areas Verizon already serves. FiOS adds up to about 60% of Verizon’s consumer revenue, which totaled $3.4 billion last year.

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HomePlug, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee Alliances form Consortium

The HomePlug Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance, and ZigBee Alliance have signed an agreement to create the Consortium for SEP 2 (Smart Energy Profile 2) Interoperability. According to the parties involved, the Consortium will provide the Smart Grid ecosystem with device and application interoperability. Its focus will be on speeding up the pace of the availability of interoperable Smart Energy Profile 2 products, so that consumers can take advantage of SmartGrid energy management benefits via wired and wireless devices. The Consortium will also take responsibility for maintaining a certification test suite to validate interoperability.

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FCC Reveals Updated Powerline Broadband Rules

Although outperformed by many modern wireless technologies and the fact that unshielded powerlines are not good conduits, the FCC has long held out hope that broadband over powerline (BPL) technology  would become a successful competitor in the carrier wars, especially as deregulation of the industry has helped create monopolies and duopolies across great swaths of the country. In that vein, the FCC unveiled new rules created to help BPL gear vendors, as well as clean up errors and omissions from the 2004 BPL rules. It may be too little, too late, however, as there are dwindling numbers of BPL deployments in operation.

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