The U.K.’s Informa Telecoms & Media says 31 percent of global households will own at least one smart TV in five years time, with household penetration much higher in North America (63 percent) and Western Europe (64 percent). On the flip side, the group notes, while smart-TV connection rates are rising, they will continue to lag behind the connection rates of game consoles and media-streaming devices (including Apple TV and Roku).  “Informa estimates that in 2017 more than half of the 800 million Smart TV sets will only be used as dumb screens,” comments Andrew Ladbrook, senior analyst. “Moreover, while any ‘smart’ TV bought in 2011 or 2012 can be used for streaming online video services for a few years, they lack the processing power and the necessary hardware to perform those smart-TV functions that will be standard in 2015.  Simply put, any smart TV purchased in 2012 will be effectively obsolete by 2015”…The global market for location-based-services (LBS) platforms will see steady growth in the coming years, with annual revenues for mobile location platforms (including GMLC/SMLC and SUPL A-GPS servers as well as middleware deployed by mobile operators) projected by Berg Insight to grow from about $258 million in 2012 to $425 million in 2017. This demand mainly will be driven by emergency-call and lawful-intercept mandates that require network operators to invest in location platforms that will enable the location of any handset already in use by subscribers. “Leading location platform and chipset vendors such as Ericsson, TeleCommunication Systems, CSR, Broadcom and Qualcomm are now also escalating their efforts to enable reliable and ubiquitous location indoors,” says Senior Analyst André Malm. “Achieving seamless transition between outdoor and indoor navigation requires handsets with hybrid location technologies.” Hybrid location technologies fuse signal measurements from multiple global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), cellular and Wi-Fi network signals, together with data from sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, compasses and altimeters…Mobile Experts forecasts “significant growth” for wireless backhaul links that support femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells (aggregately known as “small cells”). "Fiber-optic cable is the ideal solution, but is almost never available in the right places for high-capacity small cells," explains Dr. Jonathan Wells, principal analyst. "We expect the early small cell-market to use RF backhaul below 6 GHz to address the initial market requirements for throughput below about 80 Mbps. However, by 2016, we expect significant adoption of multiband small cells with embedded Wi-Fi and much higher throughput requirements in the backhaul. We anticipate an additional market segment where high-throughput, millimeter-wave backhaul links will be required”…"With so many operators moving to fiber as they upgrade building sites and mobile backhaul from TDM to Ethernet, fiber-based Ethernet access devices (EADs) will remain a much bigger market than copper EADs," anticipates Michael Howard, principal analyst/Carrier Networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research. "That said, it is clear that a growing number of mobile backhaul operators and transport providers are turning to EFM (Ethernet for First Mile) bonded copper technology, taking advantage of its extended reach and capacity in many applications and locations where fiber is too expensive for the return on investment. In fact, EFM bonded copper EAD sales were up while fiber and Ethernet over TDM EAD sales were down in the first half of 2012." He adds, "TDM-based EADs aside, the EAD market is growing nicely on an annual basis, strongly influenced by healthy Ethernet service uptake. We expect operators to spend close to $5.6 billion cumulative on EADs over the five years from 2012 to 2016.”

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A+E Networks launched a new FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) channel Skills + Thrills , debuting on The Roku Channel on Tuesday. The series

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