Week in research: Satellite STBs turn a corner; Ethernet access to VPNs gains momentum

Satellite STBs turn a corner: While the worldwide satellite set-top box (STB) market has been in a growth slump in recent years, a new In-Stat report says that that trend is changing, with digital satellite STB unit shipments set to grow by almost 14 percent in 2012. Michelle Abraham, research director for In-Stat, said the uptick in shipments will be driven by new innovations including new processors that "enable a more personalized viewing experience with downloadable apps and recommendation engines" in addition to new graphics capabilities that "also enhances the user experience, providing satellite service providers with a new feature set to compete for subscribers." Release

India SMBs like IaaS: In India, Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are starting to take more notice of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Although still a nascent opportunity, AMI Research says in its "2011 India SMB State of the Cloud Market Overview" that SMBs are finding utility in putting services such as data storage/backup, servers and virus protection, spam filtering and other security solutions into the cloud. What's driving more SMBs to turn to IaaS is ease of usage and maintenance for functions like data backups. Release

Ethernet access to VPNs gains momentum: Accessing dedicated IP/MPLS via higher speeds at 2 Mbps and above, Ethernet access (E-Access) continues to become the service choice for large multisite businesses. According to research conducted by Vertical Systems Group, E-Access services now connect 36 percent of the dedicated IP/MPLS business VPN sites in the U.S. The demand for access connectivity at speeds that begin at 2 Mbps and above will drive Dedicated IP/MPLS VPN growth through 2015. Having Ethernet access to VPNs along with availability continues to be a differentiating factor amongst service providers that serve either national domestic or international multisite business customers. One segment that has yet to make a big play on providing Ethernet access to VPNs are the cable operators despite aggressive moves by the likes of large MSOs like Charter (Nasdaq: CHTR), Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Cox and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to offer metro Ethernet services. Release  

Acme Packet takes the SBC cake: As more service provider's voice networks go all-IP, the Session Border Controller (SBC) is taking on a role to provide interconnection between service providers. Diane Myers, directing analyst for VoIP and IMS at Infonetics Research, said in the research firm's latest "SBC Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey" that during the next two years the major growth areas for new SBC deployments will be for fixed mobile convergence and wireless access. In 2010, the global service provider SBC market grew 45 percent to $271 million and is projected to surpass $1 billion by 2015 as IP voice traffic continues to grow. One of the applications that will continue to drive SBC growth through 2013 is SIP trunking. From a vendor perspective, 96 percent of respondents named Acme Packet (Nasdaq: APKT) as the top SBC vendor. Following Acme Packet is Huawei, which has been the #2 or #3 vendor in terms of carrier SBC market share. Another vendor to keep an eye on during the period is GENBAND. Nineteen of the service providers surveyed said they were evaluating the vendor for future deployments. Release

Infonetics SBC apps deployments