Week in research: RF remotes gain traction in consumer devices; mobile VoIP shows long-term potential

Internet bandwidth surpasses voice: Surprise, surprise: Internet capacity requirements have become the dominant source of bandwidth demand, beating out voice services. A new TeleGeography blog post revealed that as of 2011, international Internet bandwidth exceeds voice and private network bandwidth by a factor of 4. Post

Telegeography Internet bandwidth

RF remote control technologies on the rise: While infrared technology had been the dominant technology to control consumer devices, it appears that RF remote controls based on the Bluetooth and ZigBee standards are gaining traction. According to ABI Research's "Digital Home Remote Controls" report, the RF remote control market will exceed 217 million devices in 2016. The RF remote controls concept is pertinent to a number of consumer device segments including televisions, Blu-ray disc players, set-top boxes, and digital media adapters. Leading the early charge for RF-based controls is the video game console market with all three current-generation platforms employing wireless controllers. Television manufacturers such as Panasonic, Samsung, and Vizio, are using Bluetooth for high-end models. However, service providers (Comcast, DISH Network and France Telecom) have favored RF4CE-based solutions. What the RF-based controllers enable for the consumer are a number of new features including applications, search, and Internet browsing. Release

USB-enabled devices continue to dominate: With over 3.5 billion devices shipping worldwide in the PC, PC peripheral, consumer electronic (CE), communications, and automotive product segments throughout 2010 it's safe to say that USB is a success. And while there are three specifications to address other speed and data requirements, In-Stat forecasts that the total USB-enable device shipments will approach six million in 2015. Release

Mobile VoIP has long-term potential: While the adoption of mobile VoIP services is growing, the main challenge for service providers, said Diane Myers, directing analyst for VoIP and IMS at Infonetics Research, is that it "is tricky for application providers without the deep pockets of larger companies like Google, Microsoft, and Telefónica to have a sustainable long-term business model." Even though the research firm forecasts mobile VoIP subscribers to grow nearly 10-fold from 2010 to 2015, service providers will have a hard time making a near term profit. Stéphane Téral, Infonetics Research's principal analyst for mobile infrastructure, added that there two key near-term challenges: the lack of widely available LTE handsets that support VoLTE and Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC), which enables voice calls work seamlessly between LTE and legacy TDM-based voice networks. Release

OTT VoIP subscribers Infonetics