By The Numbers September-October 2010

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 12:27am

By The Numbers - September-October 2010

Big on Backhaul

Big On BackhaulWondering where all those operator expenditures are going? According to In-Stat, backhaul – including line leasing, new equipment and spectrum acquisition – will set mobile operators back nearly $117 million by 2014, a 41 percent increase over 2009 expenditures of $83 billion.

While an emerging industry consensus says the optimal solution involves running fiber optic cable straight to each base station, with Ethernet protocol as the backhaul, the ability to install new fiber is cost-prohibitive in many locations and physically impossible in others, notes In-Stat analyst Chris Kissel. The best solution for each operator depends on a unique combination of factors, expanding the universe of potential solutions and suppliers, Kissel says.

Here are a few other findings from In-Stat:

• Millimeter microwave radios will grow from $159 million in 2009 to $874 million in 2014.

• Traffic from LTE applications will begin to figure heavily in backhaul. By 2014, more than half of the capacity in North American last-mile backhaul will be dedicated to LTE.

• By 2014, Ethernet will be the dominant carrier technology with 85 percent usage in base stations.


Average AppsThe average adult with apps has 18

on their phone, and young adults have more

This might not be surprising, but a Pew Research Center study found young adult cell phone users on average have a greater number of apps on their phones. The mean number of apps for 18 to 29- year-olds is 22, compared with a mean of 16 for 30 to 49-year-olds, and 13 for adult cell phone users age 50 and older. However, the medians show considerably less variation, with young adults having a median of 12 apps on their phone and those over age 50 having a median of 8.

The figures from the Pew Internet Project survey were gathered in a telephone survey of a representative sample of 2,252 U.S. adults age 18 and older between April 29 and May 30, 2010. The sample included 1,917 adult cell phone users, 744 of whom were contacted on their cell phones. The margin of error is +/- 2.4 percentage points for results based on the total sample of adults, and +/- 2.7 for results based on cell phone users.


Mobile E-Mail Business Just Keeps Growing

There appears to be no end in sight for the growth for business mobile e-mail. Although revenues are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2 percent over the 2009-2014 forecast period, an International Data Corporation (IDC) report predicts that the number of subscribers worldwide will grow at a CAGR of 36.5 percent through 2014.

One leading factor contributing to the growth is the rapid adoption of smartphones. Currently, 20 percent of all mobile phones are smartphones and IDC forecasts smartphone shipments to grow 55.4 percent in 2010. Two big players in 2009 were Research In Motion (RIM) and Microsoft. IDC expects Microsoft will see continued growth this year and next with the explosion of the Android OS and the launch of Windows Phone 7. 


Fixed Terminals, Routers to Hit 13 Million by 2015

In 2015, shipments of fixed wireless terminals (FWT) and cellular routers will total nearly 13 million, according to forecasts from ABI Research. That includes industrial terminals, business gateways, telephony adaptors and the newest market segment, mobile broadband routers, which will contribute the greatest increase in shipments, the firm says. ABI analysts offer some advice for those looking to make the most of the FWT and router market:

• Cellular embedded module vendors should seek new application opportunities in other FWT and M2M segments.

• Business gateway vendors should focus on data connectivity rather than voice connectivity.

• Developers of mobile broadband hot spot routers must understand early-adopter markets.

• Industrial terminal vendors should offer platforms that include cloud computing software delivery models.

• Mobile network operators should reconsider how pervasive Wi-Fi technology enables new subscribers and welcomes multi-device users.

• FWT and cellular broadband router vendors should consider entry into the business gateway market.


Global Subscriptions: 5 Billion and Counting

Global SubscriptionsIf iSuppli’s figures are right, the number of worldwide subscriptions for wireless services will hit 5 billion in September 2010, equaling 73.4 percent of the earth’s population.

Going forward, global wireless subscriptions will increase by yet another 100 million and hit 5.1 billion by the end of this year, according to the market research firm. The global installed base of wireless devices will amount to 4.9 billion at the end of 2010, and the remaining subscribers will be accounted for by additional subscriber identification modules (SIM) used in mobile handsets and services to machine-to-machine (M2M) communication systems.

Of course, penetration of wireless subscriptions varies widely by regions. At the low end is the combined Africa and Middle East region, where penetration amounts to 50 percent. On the high side is Western Europe, where there are more subscriptions than citizens, with penetration amounting to 157.6 percent, according to iSuppli.


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