Shopping With Cell Phones a Growing Habit

In a new report from Pew Internet, the firm found than more than half of adult cell phone owners used their mobile device during 2011 holiday store visits to assist them in purchasing decisions. The report, “The Rise of In-Store Mobile Commerce,” also found that during the 30-day period before and after Christmas:

  • 38% of cell phone owners made calls to friends for shopping advice
  • 24% of cell phone owners used their cell phone to connect online and seek out reviews of a product they were considering buying
  • 22% of cell phone owners used their cell phones to connect online and compare prices for a product they were considering buying


In total, 52% of cell phone owners used their device for some kind of shopping advice during the last holiday season, with one-third going online for additional information–either product reviews or pricing comparisons.


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January 2012 CrossTalk Hits the Street

The January 2012 edition of CrossTalk has been compiled, curated, and now released. Thiss issue contains 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 January 2012 CrossTalk today.


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“Family Hearth,” Once the Hearth, then TV, Now PC

The modern version of the family hearth, for decades acknowedged by most to be the television, has been replaced in the 21st century by the PC and tablet. This according to a Microsoft “Family Technology Survey,” which asked parents which technology devices they used most to connect with family members. The survey found that 43% said a computer or tablet drew family members together. Only 21% said they gather around the TV for quality family time, while the up-and-coming smartphone registerd a third place finish, with 16%. The actual hearth garnered no votes. More tellingly, parents of kids of all age groups chose the PC over the TV by a wide margin, with the PC becoming more popular as children get older.


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Ookla Says Cable Had Fastest Broadband Downloads

Cable operators delivered the fastest average broadband download speeds in 2011, according to data from independent testing firm Ookla. For the year, the six fastest domestic residential Internet service providers were Comcast, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems, Time Warner Cable and Insight Communications. Ookla uses the Net Index service for its rankings, which has measured hundreds of millions of individual user tests through its website. Comcast and Charter delivered average download speeds of 17.19 Megabits per second, followed by Cablevision at 16.40 Mbps, Cox at 15.76 Mbps, TWC at 14.41 Mbps and Insight at 14.22 Mbps.


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TDG Sees “TV Everywhere” In Heavy Use by 2016

To defend against over-the-top (OTT) broadband video services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, incumbent PayTV operators are launching “TV Everywhere” or “TVE” services. These services allow subscribers to access the same channels they enjoy at home on their mobile devices. According to TDG’s latest analysis, by 2016 more than 30 million households will use operator-provided TVE services to access their favorite video programs on their devices. As for TVE market dynamics, some major content providers may go it alone and sell direct-to-consumer (that is, without operator sanction), while others will attempt to extend existing carriage agreements to cover net-connected devices.


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Uninterruptable Power Sources (UPS) Key In Green IT Efforts

With green IT becoming an important goal for many IT vendors and users, uninterruptible power sources (UPS), which use built-in energy sources to supply power during grid power outages, need to fit into existing IT infrastructures to support vendors’ green initiatives. According to Pike Research, these green trends, along with growth in emerging economies, will lead to a dramatic uptick in the UPS sector in the near future: the global market for UPS is set to expand from $8.2 billion in 2011 to $9.4 billion in 2012, and to $13.2 billion in 2015. Next-gen UPS systems are expected to feature built-in energy sources such as compressed air or flywheels, alongside traditional batteries, to provide clean power over periods from just a few seconds to several hours.


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Infonetics Appraises the Network Security Market

Infonetics Research’s latest, “Service Provider Security Drivers, Spending, and Vendor Leadership: Global Survey,” offers insight into service provider and cable operators’ security investment plans. Infonetics finds that almst all service providers expect to increase security spending in 2012, both in absolute dollars as well as a percentage of capex, while protection of customer data and network uptime are among the biggest drivers of new security solutions. Leading brand awareness among firms offering security services include Juniper, Symantec, and Cisco, with Juniper receiving the best reviews.


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Women’s Digital Media Activities Surge in 2011

Women’s digital media habits overtook men’s last year, according to Parks Associates. The firm’s new report, “Consumer Decision Process,” finds that women share more content online and download more movies and music, and also notes that women are 73% more likely than men to have watched a full-length TV show online in the past 30 days.

Parks also found that women have higher purchase intentions for almost all popular mobile devices, with one-fifth of women surveyed planning to purchase a laptop or a smartphone. As a result, women’s gaming activity increased overall: women are 40% more likely than men to play games on Facebook, and they have dramatically increased their activity on gaming consoles.


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Infonetics Delivers Broadband CPE Forecast

ZTE held on to its #1 spot for worldwide broadband CPE revenue and shipments in the 3rd quarter of 2011, according to Infonetics Research latest study, “Broadband CPE and Subscribers: PON, FTTH, Cable, and DSL.” The report goes on to note that Motorola and Huawei tied for 2nd in overall worldwide broadband CPE revenue, followed by Technicolor and ARRIS. ZTE’s hold on the top spot was helped by its partnership with China Telecom, in which it delivered Ethernet FTTH infrastructure and CPE for higher-end residences, mainly in Shanghai. Meanwhile on the cable CPE side, Motorola held on to its top spot in 2011, this despite a 7% worldwide decline cable CPE revenue.


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2012: Connected Devices Trends

The good folks at Pyramid Research have identified the trends they expect to see during 2012. These include:


  • Tablet sales rise and prices fall as focus shifts to international markets. This trend is expected to follow the lead of Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
  • NFC-enable smartphones will see the rise expected in 2011. The slower-than-expected uptake will be bolstered by large MNOs launching commercial NFC services.
  • Emerging markets will make up 70% of mobile phone sales, especially the Chinese and Indian markets.
  • Apple will experience declining smartphone market share due to demand for inexpensive handsets.


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How Will the Recession Affect Online Video Demand in 2012?

In an article in Multichannel News, “Will the Recession Crimp an Insatiable Appetite for Video?”, the authors project the demand for high-quality online video in 2012. They find that although there are now over 350 million devices worldwide that are capable of accessing YouTube (including the runaway success of the iPad, with some forecasters estimating that 100 million of the devices will sell in 2012), the financial crisis of the recent past, combined with continuing high unemployment rates and a depressed housing market, may conspire to hold down the purchase of online video content in the near future.


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Verizon See Future Without Set Top Boxes

Verizon unveiled part of its future plans in a promotional video released recently. In it, the company announces that it will be using smaller, more energy efficient set top boxes in 2012, and will eliminate the set top box altogether at some future time. The new Media Server product coming out this later year for FiOS customers will let user stream content to all devices in the home, including iPhones and gaming consoles, and is rumored to be small enough to be hidden behind a television and fastened with a velcro strap. The Media Server is an IP-enabled gateway manufactured by Motorola.


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LTE Services from OnStar Demoed at CES

OnStar, GM’s in-vehicle security, communications, and diagnostics system, will demonstrate an integrated entertainment, emergency, and communications offering at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Designed in partnership with Verizon Wireless and built into GM’s new hybrid model, the Chevy Volt, the system is expected to use the carrier’s LTE network and feature the ability to stream cloud-based media. To allay possible safety concerns, GM also announced that the streaming services will only operate when the vehicle is in park.


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ABI Forecasts the Mobile Hotspot Router Market

In its new market study, “Mobile Hotspot Routers,” ABI Research takes a look at the present and future of the mobile hotspot router market. A small device designed to connect several Wi-Fi enabled devices to a single mobile broadband subscription, the mobile hotspot router is helping carriers scale their network capacities to keep up with user demand for Internet access, anytime and anywhere. ABI sees this market reaching 7.1 million units in 2011 and rising to 60 million by 2016, with an end-user value exceeding $5 billion.


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Consumers Willing to Spend For Increased Efficiency

According to Strategy Analytics new report, “Segmentation and Analysis of Attitudes towards Energy Consumption: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and US,” consumers seem to embrace the idea of investing for a more energy efficient home. The report reveals that the citizens most likely to do this are the French and Italians, while the English are least likely. The companies who are interested in entering this market continue to study consumer preferences in the emerging space, and will, according to Strategy Analytics, need to build broader options that will enhance value for consumers. “Correctly packaging capability with the right price and the right distribution channel will be the key to success,” comments David Mercer, VP, Digital Consumer Practice at Strategy Analytics.


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Parks: “The Data-driven Video Discovery Evolution”

With their latest whitepaper release, “The Data-driven Video Discovery Evolution,” Parks Associates examines the state of the fragmented online video experience. From content owners to service providers to electronics manufacturers, entire industries will be affected by the ability of consumers to access the videos they want to watch, interactively and in a converged and personalized manner. Brand erosion, reduced advertising revenue, and crumbling user loyalty could be among the pitfalls facing industry players as consumers’ options increase. Among the main solutions offered by Parks: effective search and recommendation services that can create a more personalized and revenue-enhancing experience.


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Booming Kindle Sales Ignite Ebook Frenzy

Amazon, keeping with their ongoing tradition of not releasing exact Kindle sales numbers, nonetheless announced recently that they had sold “millions” of Kindle Fires, as well as “millions” of Kindle e-readers during this past holiday season, which many analysts translated to mean somewhere in the vicinity of 4 million. This largesse resulted in a 175% increase in the gifting of Kindle books between Black Friday and Christmas this year. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, went on to claim that 2011 was “the best holiday ever for Kindle,” while others forecast that the Kindle Fire would outdo the iPad’s post-launch sales rate.


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Texting, Social Networking Goes Global

A new Pew Research report was unveiled recently, suggesting that texting has become a worldwide habit among cellphone users, young or old, rich or poor. Texting, in fact, is the most common pursuit of cellphone users in such far-flung locations as Indonesia, Kenya, and Lebanon. Social networking has also caught on all over the planet, especially among the young and well-to-do, although among those with less income but with cellphone Internet access, the rate of social networking is as high, if not higher, than their more affluent counterparts. Other interesting findings Pew uncovered: the Japanese are most likely to use their cellphones to take pictures or video; more than 30% of cellphone users in Poland go online with their phone; and the greatest rise in accessing social networking sites between 2010 and 2011 occurred in Russia and Egypt.


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