Week in research: On-net IP VPN, Ethernet demand rises; home area networks ascend

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IP VPN, Ethernet demand rises: Network providers are scrambling to meet demand for on-net IP VPN and Ethernet services worldwide, a new report from TeleGeography reveals--but quality and growth rates vary widely among regions. Overall, among the 166 cities surveyed by the research firm last year, on-net services grew 12 percent. Africa saw huge growth in 2012 of 52 percent, while Latin America saw only marginal growth in on-net VPN coverage. Asia, Europe and North America saw growth rates between 10 and 15 percent. Growth rates themselves, of course, don't tell the whole story. Although Africa's on-net IP VPN and Ethernet services jumped, the availability is only comparable to that of Latin America. "On-net IP VPN and EoMPLS coverage in emerging markets remains limited, due in significant part to the relatively higher costs and lower levels of demand for such services," said TeleGeography analyst Robert Schult. "However, as new network builds drive down transport costs to emerging markets in Africa and Latin America, it will become ever more cost-effective for carriers to establish their own PoPs and to deliver service directly to enterprise customers." Article

Telegeography IP VPN and Ethernet 2012

IPTV on the upswing: The number of IPTV subscribers worldwide will double between 2012 and 2016, from 83 million to 165 million, says Infonetics Research in a report released in mid-December. This may be encouraging video content providers--including telcos, cable operators and satellite providers--to spend more on video infrastructure. For example, spending on VOD and streaming content servers grew 1.8 percent in the third quarter of 2012, after two consecutive quarters of declines, signaling that providers are moving away from their cautious stance on spending. "Operators are being extremely cautious with their video infrastructure spending right now, looking to sweat their assets as much as they can knowing that a spending spree looms on the horizon to support more unicast and multi-screen services, including RS-DVR, start-over, look-back, and streaming delivery to mobile devices," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research. "We expect a noticeable jump in video equipment spending in 2013." News release

Home area networks on the radar: While the home area network (HAN) has been around for some time now, adoption of the technology--which enables control of various applications and devices in the home--has been slower than expected. However, Pike Research predicts the segment is poised to grow from $127 million in 2012 to $1.1 billion by 2020. This will largely be driven by the new market growing around smart grid, with its focus on energy efficiency and increased standards-based technologies. "Utilities and home energy management service providers have long expected that increasing smart meter deployments will drive adoption of home area networks," said senior research analyst Neil Strother. "Motivating consumers to use less energy via new technology, though, can be a difficult sell. Vendors of HAN products should take a realistic approach to this nascent market, emphasizing the potential for consumers to save money on their electric bills." News release