What utilities tell us about work and mobile broadband

Utilities will spend $3.2 billion this year in telecommunications services, but only a third is related to smart meters. A growing proportion will pay for mobile broadband for workers as part of a wider shift to thinking mobile broadband access is essential for productivity.

Broadband Speeds Are Faster (And Only Slightly More Expensive)

The average U.S. broadband connection now delivers speeds of 9.54 Mbps down, which is about 2.5 times faster than the 3.8 Mbps that it was back in 2007. Today’s speeds are 34 percent faster and the cost has only risen 4 percent from 2009 to 2010.

ZigBee Chip Makers to Smart Energy: Thanks!

Smart energy gear — from smart meters to intelligent plugs to routers that can connect with smart meters — represents the largest growth opportunity for chips and modules that use the wireless standard ZigBee (or in geek terms 802.15.4).

Web-to-TV Video Content Revenue to Hit $17B in 2014

The act of watching online video on one’s television might experience a serious boom in the next five years. According to In-Stat, by the year 2014 57 million US households will be watching online content on their TVs, with revenue potentially reaching $17 billion.

Connected Set-top Box Market Worth $1.4B by 2014

The Internet is coming to the flat-screen TV in your living room, and one of the devices that’s making this possible is the set-top box provided by your cable TV company. A new report estimates that hybrid set-top boxes will be worth $1.4 billion by 2014.

Online TV Audience Reaches 26 Percent

26 percent of US consumers watch TV programming online more than once a week, according to a new report from In-Stat titled “OTT Video Platforms, Devices, and Consumer Expectations.” And more and more of these consumers watch online video in the living room, thanks to game consoles, Roku boxes and Internet-enabled TV sets. In-Stat estimates that there were 24 million web-enabled devices in operation in the U.S. by the end of 2009, and its analysts believe that this number will grow to 102 million by 2013.

In-Stat analyst Keith Nissen went on the record to say that cable companies don’t have to fear cord cutters just yet. “Nearly 40% of consumer broadband household respondents want a combination of linear TV and on-demand TV,” he said, adding that to date nearly three quarters get all their video from their pay TV provider.
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Off-the-Grid Cell Phone Networks, Seek the Sun, Wind

ericssonsolarbasestationCell phone companies are by no means racing to use renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind, to power the infrastructure that runs their wireless networks. Of the more than 4 million cellular base stations deployed world wide, less than 2,000 run on clean power, so just a fraction of a percent are using renewables, Allen Nogee, Principal Analyst for market research firm In-Stat tell us. But there is still a green trend taking shape: in developing countries where there is little or no grid access, cell phone companies are starting to find that in certain situations, solar and wind powered base stations can save them money compared to off-grid diesel-powered base stations.
According to In-Stat by 2014, there will be over 230,000 cell phone base stations powered by solar and wind in developing countries in Africa, South East Asia, South America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Ericsson (s ERIC) said last year that it has provided 200 solar-powered base stations around Africa and South East Asia. Those are the same markets that will see some significant growth over the next 5 years, and In-Stat predicts that the number of off-grid base stations is growing at 30 percent per year.
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Report: CDN Market Worth $2B by 2013

While Chris laid out in convincing fashion this morning why DVRs offer a preferable experience to Comcast VOD, what about the encroachment of over-the-top delivery on VOD?

In-Stat thinks cheaper and more efficient Internet delivery is the way of the future. The firm today released research detailing how content delivery networks and data centers will improve and personalize the relationship between content owners and viewers. In-Stat estimates the global CDN market will nearly double by 2013 to more than $2 billion.

“As content providers build or out-source their own data centers, they will be in charge of every aspect of their content,” said In-Stat analyst Gerry Kaufhold in the release. “We will see flexible, complex, and creative ways to derive every last penny out of every piece of content.”

Today, the reliability of Internet video delivery barely compares to traditional living room methods. But peak load and congestion problems will be managed for over-the-top delivery through a combination of edge caching, managed peer-to-peer networks, and adaptive bitrate streaming (see our own subscription report), said In-Stat.