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Results of poll by China Internet Network Information Center released this week.

Most young Chinese use mobile phones to access the Internet as these are cheaper and easier to obtain than desktop computers, according to a survey by a government-linked body.

About three-quarters of China’s 195 million web users under the age of 25–roughly half of its world-leading online population–surfed the Internet using a mobile in 2009, up from 50% from a year ago, the poll revealed.

The finding marked the first time that mobile phones emerged as the top platform for Web use among China’s youth, according to the poll by the China Internet Network Information Center, which was released Monday.

The poll offers further proof of the importance of the burgeoning mobile Internet market in China, which has the world’s largest number of mobile phone subscribers at more than 765 million, according to government data.

Nearly 70% of young Internet users still use desktops–implying that many Web-savvy youth are using both methods to get online.

The center said more young people in the countryside had opted for mobile Internet than their urban counterparts, as the handheld device “provided youths in areas where computers are hard to get with an alternative.”

Young Chinese primarily use the Internet to listen to music, play games and watch video clips, the center said.

Source: Total Tele

They thought this day would never come: Ladies and gentlemen, AT&T Inc. will now allow VoIP applications to run across its cellular network, not just Wi-Fi.

The carrier has blocked IP-based voice apps for the iPhone from running on 2G and 3G in the past, including Skype and, famously, Google Voice. Though AT&T never mentioned why, speculation as to the reason blockage includes, of course, a reluctance to lose voice call revenue, and network congestion concerns.

But it’s caught a lot of flak for those decisions, and as VoIP continues to become an embraced application in the industry in general, who is AT&T to blow against the wind, right? Competitively, Clearwire, several cablecos and even Verizon Wireless have said they won’t block third-party VoIP on their 4G or 3G networks, even if cellular voice remains the bread and butter revenue stream today.

Officially, the carrier said it made its decision because it already enables cellular VoIP on other devices, and, well, the sky hasn’t fallen. “iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets, in a statement. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.”

It’s good news for Vonage too, which this week launched an iPhone app for its voice service.

Regardless of the reason, AT&T is now cellular VoIP-friendly on the iPhone, saying it has taken the steps necessary to let Apple enable VoIP applications to run on AT&T’s wireless network. AT&T this afternoon informed Apple and the FCC of its decision.

Skype took a vindicated tone: “Since launching our iPhone application six months ago, consumers have downloaded and installed Skype on 10% of all iPhone and iPod touch devices sold,” said Josh Silverman, president of Skype, in a statement. “This clearly demonstrates that our customers are extremely interested in taking Skype conversations with them on the go on the iPhone.”

He added that while Skype is naturally happy about the turn of events, “the positive actions of one company are no substitute for a government policy that protects openness and benefits consumers and we look forward to further innovations that will enable even more mobile Skype calling.”

Source: VON newsletter

Singapore operator wins pay-TV, Internet and mobile rights for three years.

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. said Thursday that it won a bid for broadcast rights for its pay-television service to show Barclays Premier League football matches for three years from August 2010, beating out rival StarHub Ltd.

The rights to the English Premier League games are for pay-TV, as well as Internet and cellphones, and will last from August 2010 to May 2013, SingTel said in a statement.

The news is a blow for StarHub, the incumbent pay-TV operator that has broadcast the league’s matches in Singapore since 1997. It submitted a competing bid against SingTel and holds rights for the league’s matches until the end of the current season in mid-2010.

Given the popularity of the football league in Singapore, analysts had expected the bidding process to be fierce.

“BPL rights are one of the most iconic content, enabling the winner to gain/retain its foothold in the homes of consumers,” CIMB said in a recent report.

SingTel also secured the rights to a suite of sports networks and services from ESPN STAR Sports for its pay-TV service from mid-2010, it said. SingTel didn’t disclose any financial details, however.

Source: Dow Jones Newswires

SingTel announced that its mio TV service has surpassed its 100,000 customer mark. Milestone coincides with the service’s second birthday; all new and existing customers will be given a special selection of ten movies which they can watch on-demand for free.

SingTel also launched Football Frenzy, Singapore’s first multimedia social football experience, which will be available across the company’s online, mio TV and mobile platforms for the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and Italian Serie A soccer tournaments.

ESPN STAR Sports is a production partner for SingTel’s Football Frenzy offering, which includes four mio TV channels: three linear and one on-demand. SingTel holds the cross-platform rights to all 146 UEFA Champions League, 149 Europa League and 120 Serie A matches.

Asked whether the Football Frenzy experience had been created with the English Premier League (EPL) as their ultimate goal, Edward Yong, chief of content & media services group, SingTel, said it had been created around the UEFA soccer. “But we would like the EPL to see what we have done,” in optimizing these tournaments across all three platforms.

The entire Football Frenzy package, across broadband, mio TV and mobile will cost S$15.90 (US$11) per month for a 12-month package. There is no sign-up fee, no basic tier requirement for mioTV; the online offering can be accessed from non-SingTel broadband accounts; the mobile component is available only to SingTel Mobile customers.

Source: Television Asia

2- to 11-year-olds make up 9.5% of Web users

imagesKids are coming online in droves — at a faster rate than the general Web population — and spending more and more entertainment time with the digital medium, according to a new study from Nielsen Online.

During the past five years, the kids’ Web universe has swelled by 18%; that compares with the 10% growth rate seen in the relative mature general Web population. As of May, the kids 2-11 audience had reached 16 million, or 9.5% of the active online universe.

That increase is particularly noteworthy in that it occurred during a period in which the number of kids under 14 in the U.S. declined by 1% (from July 2004 to July 2009, per the U.S. Census Bureau).

But even more eye-catching than the growth in the kids’ Web audience is its heavy surge in usage when compared to the rest of the Web. Across the board, the average Web user has been spending lots more time with the Internet — overall time spent is up 36% in the past five year, per Nielsen.

But kids seem to be living on the Web. Time spent online among kids has soared 63% during the past five years as they are increasingly drawn to watching videos and playing games.

According to Nielsen, kids 2-11 spent nearly seven hours online per month five years ago, versus 11 hours a month in 2009, with boys spending slightly more time than girls (7% more in May). That usage disparity is perhaps most evident in online video viewing, as boys accounted for 61% of video streams among kids on the Web and 57% of kids’ time spent viewing videos.

However, the kids online video landscape — once dominated by kids TV players Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney — is changing as options for kids and digital media buyers abound, the study shows.

Source: Mike Shields, Mediaweek

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?