Krishna Baidya’s Random Musings

Archive for June 2009

SingTel, Southeast Asia’s largest telco, on Sunday launched in Singapore a service that lets mobile subscribers download music files and videos which it hopes to introduce to other parts of Asia. Developed with Universal Music, SingTel hopes the web-based facility, called AMPed, will help it attract new customers as well as get existing subscribers to upgrade service plans. The two firms launched the new initiative at a media event attended by American pop star Lady Gaga.

“SingTel decided two years ago that the telco of the future needs to be more than just bits and bytes,” SingTel’s CEO for Singapore Allen Lew said. More than 50 percent of Singapore mobile users listened to music on their phones and SingTel needed to provide customers with information and entertainment as well, he said. SingTel, which owns Australia’s number two telco Optus and stakes in mobile phone companies in India, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh, has been diversifying into content to reduce its reliance on “pure carriage.” It now provides a web-based pay TV service in Singapore as well as lifestyle Internet portals.

Rob Wells, senior vice president of digital at Universal Music, a unit of France’s Vivendi’s, said the firm hoped to develop similar services with other Asian telcos as it expected music sales via mobile phones to soar in coming years. SingTel and Universal Music’s AMPed works with 3G (or third generation) handsets from Nokia, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson.

Source: Reuters News


Growth Driven by High-Speed Broadband, Video, mobility and Digital Multitasking

white_paper_c11-481360-1A new research on Internet traffic, released by Cisco, forecasts that IP traffic will increase fivefold by 2013 and that most of that will be driven by video, which will account for 90 percent of all Internet traffic by that time. This forecast was part of Cisco’s Visual Networking Study, an ongoing initiative to track and forecast the impact of visual networking applications.

Key findings from the report:

  • Global IP traffic is expected to increase fivefold from 2008 to 2013, approaching 56 exabytes per month in 2013, up from approximately 9 exabytes per month in 2008. The company last year said there’d be 522 exabytes per year in 2012. Cisco says the economic downturn has only “slightly tempered traffic growth.”
  • IP traffic in North America will reach 13 exabytes per month by 2013, slightly ahead of Western Europe, which will reach 12.5 exabytes per month, and behind Asia Pacific (APAC), where IP traffic will reach 21 exabytes per month.
  • Internet video now accounts for one third of all consumer Internet traffic not including P2P, says Cisco. By 2013 it will make up 60 percent of all Internet traffic.
  • By the end of 2013, the Internet will be carrying the equivalent of 10 billion DVDs each month.
  • All forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet, and P2P) will account for over 91 percent of global consumer traffic by 2013.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic is still growing in volume, but declining as a percentage of overall IP traffic.
  • Mobile data traffic will roughly double each year from 2008 to 2013, increasing 66 times between 2008 and 2013. Almost 64 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video in 2013.
  • By 2013, active digital multitasking, such as listening to online music while working online or web browsing/instant messaging while talking on the phone, will add six “network hours” to each day.
  • By 2013, passive networking, such as DVR recording while watching other network programming, online storage backups conducted in the background of user experiences, or ambient video from such devices as a security or nanny-cam, will add another six “network hours” to each day. Today, there are 36 hours in a “network day.” There will be approximately 48 hours in a network day by 2013.
  • Cisco believes that by 2013 Internet TV will be over 4 percent of consumer Internet traffic.

Rest of the report can be downloaded from this link @ Cisco Website. Highlights of the report can be viewed on YouTube at this link.

I had shared similar thoughts & some figures earlier in an interview with ZDNetAsia. Now, it will be interesting to see how the key stake holders play their part in making this demand a reality. Who is going to be the first one to make the investments to develop the infrastructure? Will the content/ application guys rely carriers to build them or their will be much more hand-holding in the near future to capture this huge opportunity?

While most advertising sectors were pummeled during the first quarter, spending on Internet display ads jumped 8.2 percent compared to this time last year, according to a report released today by TNS Media Intelligence.

Internet display advertising was one of only two advertising sectors to post year-over-year gains in spending. The other category showing a gain — nationally syndicated TV shows ranging from Seinfeld to The Oprah Winfrey Show — posted a mere 0.2 percent increase in spending.

The TNS numbers conflict somewhat with a report that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers International released last week. The IAB-PwC study showed a 5 percent year-over-year decrease in online advertising spending in the first quarter, and a 10 drop in online ad spending compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.

According to TNS, total U.S. ad expenditures dropped to $30.18 billion during the first quarter, down 14.2 percent compared to the same period last year. Among the sectors hardest hit were spending on national newspapers (down 25.5 percent); radio (down 26.2 percent); and magazines (down 20.5 percent).

Although TV ad spending also took a hit, it fared much better than print advertising. Spending on network TV fell 4.2 percent during the first quarter, while cable TV spending dipped 2.7 percent and spending on Spanish-language TV networks dropped 15.4 percent.

While Procter & Gamble was the biggest spender on advertising during the first quarter, shelling out $674.1 million on media, the consumer goods giant trimmed its ad budget by 17.8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008, according to the TNS report.

Verizon was the second-largest advertiser, spending $577.1 million during the first quarter. It was followed by AT&T ($459.4 million); General Motors Corp. ($424.2 million); Johnson & Johnson ($397.2 million); News Corp. ($341.2 million); Sprint Nextel Corp. ($317.7 million); Walt Disney Co. ($303.7 million); Time Warner Inc. ($263.4 million); and General Electric Co. ($261.4 million).

Telecom companies and restaurants were the only two advertising categories to post spending increases during the first quarter, with telecom expenditures rising 3 percent and restaurant spending gaining 2.5 percent, TNS said.

It’s no surprise that automotive spending took the largest hit during the quarter, with auto manufacturers spending $2.3 billion on ads, down 28.4 percent compared to the first quarter. Local auto dealers slashed their budgets even further, spending $643.9 million on advertising, down 48.9 percent compared to this time last year.

Source: Steve Donohue, Contentinopole

The Asia-Pacific region will continue to lead telco-TV subscriber growth over the next three years, according to ABI Research, which predicts a compound annual growth rate of 37 percent during the period. According to the findings, subscribers to telco TV services worldwide will grow at an estimated average CAGR of 29 percent over the next three years to reach 47mn subscribers globally by the end of 2011.

“By the end of 2008, telco TV usage continued to be concentrated in countries such as France, South Korea and Hong Kong,” said Serene Fong, industry analyst at ABI Research. “Massive countries such as China and India are still very much inhibited by the lack of sufficiently broad bandwidth but they are expected to be high growth markets in the years to come.”

As the popularity of telco TV services grows ‘nearly exponentially’ during the period, legacy satellite, cable and terrestrial platforms are expected to suffer cannibalisation of subscribers, according to the report. Nevertheless, “they will continue to retain their footholds in their key markets for some time, and we will continue to see overall growth heading north for a while, but it will become more and more constrained,” added Fong.

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Tata Communications, which runs one of the largest telecom cable networks in the world, has entered into an agreement with the Doha-based Qatar Telecom to share infrastructure and expand their joint reach globally.

The Tata firm, which serves clients in businesses like communications services, software and outsourcing, providing them national and global connectivity through fibre optic and undersea cables, is particularely expected to expand its foothold in the Gulf region.

The pact was announced Monday with Qatar Telecom, popularly called Qtel, which is the only licensee to provide fixed and mobile telephone services in the Gulf nation, and has a presence in 17 countries.

“This is a landmark agreement which will position Qtel at the heart of one of the most robust telecommunications networks in the world today,” said Qtel’s executive director for business solutions Eng. Khalid Al Mansauri. As per the agreement, both companies will align their telecommunications infrastructure and work together to provide secure connectivity solutions to their clients, the two companies said in a statement. “Qtel looks to provide clients with world-class communication services and the capacity to expand internationally.

 Tata Communications continues to build connectivity into emerging markets to better serve its customers,” the statement said. Tata Communications is part of the $62.5 billion diversified Tata Group, which has 27 publicly listed companies with a combined market capitalisation of around $60 billion and a shareholder base of 3.2 million.

picture-1Apple yesterday took the wraps off a new and improved iPhone model, whilst halving the price of its entry-level device to US$99. The Cupertino, California-based vendor used its Worldwide Developers Conference to unveil the iPhone 3G S (pictured, left), which sports a number of upgrades from its predecessors, including a doubled memory capacity of 32GB, a digital compass, 3MP camera, voice control, longer-lasting battery, and the ability to record videos. It also includes the latest iPhone operating system (version 3.0). This upgrade of software also means that now the iPhone will have capabilities such as cut, copy and paste which was ma complete miss from numerous end-user’s perspective. Apple said the device will support HSDPA networks offering theoretical peak download speeds of 7.2 Mb/s, with the ‘S’ in iPhone 3G S standing for ‘speed.’ A 16GB model will retail for US$199 and the 32GB model for US$299.

See the new iPhone 3GS ads > HERE and watch the new iPhone 3GS > Guided Tour 

US operator AT&T and O2 in the UK will be among the first operators to begin selling the iPhone 3G S on 19 June. Telenor will launch the device in Norway on 9 July. In a statement, Apple said the device will also be available “in more than 80 countries in the coming weeks.” Meanwhile, the vendor also dropped the price of its year-old 8GB iPhone 3G model to US$99 in an effort to push the smartphone to a wider audience. Reuters reported that Morgan Stanley estimates the halving in price could double existing sales. The news agency also noted that Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not put in a much speculated-about appearance. Despite Jobs’ no-show, Apple’s event has arguably overshadowed the launch of Palm’s ‘iPhone rival,’ the Pre, last weekend. The high-profile Pre reportedly experienced strong demand at store opening on Saturday (with between 50,000-100,000 units sold) but analysts are now concerned Palm will not be able to ramp up production supplies quick enough.

  • British content now on Mio TV
  • Comes shortly StarHub’s announcement
  • BBC Worldwide and ITV content partners

Close on the heels of StarHub’s announcement of more BBC content on its pay TV platform, rival SingTel has unveiled the extent of its British content offering.

Come 15 July, mio TV will be able to broadcast selected content from BBC Worldwide TV Sales & Distribution and ITV Global Entertainment.

“These allow us to provide a comprehensive and high-quality range of the most current British content to our customers,” Low Ka Hoe, Director for IPTV Business, SingTel, said.

“We have observed a keen response to content offered on-demand, such as Season Pass, which allows viewers to access popular TV series as early as 24 hours after their US premiere. The BBC and ITV content on these channels will also be packaged to allow greater flexibility in the way it is viewed,” he said.

The new content will be offered as part of mio TV’s SuperSaver English Pack at $19.90 per month. As part of the channel restructuring, the current BBC linear channels on mio TV will no longer be available.

Pricing details for the new channels will be announced at a later date.

Source: Marketing Magzine