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Industry News

Commercial Market

December 1, 1998
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Commercial Market

Study Highlights Opportunities in US Satellite Markets

Arecent report from Multimedia Research Group Inc. (MRG), "US Satellite Services Market: 1998–2005," discusses the rapid increases in satellite competition and in the use of mobile communication, remote data devices and satellite-based entertainment services that are expected to result from the increased globalization of satellite technology. The report focuses on business- and entertainment-related markets, highlighting each market segment’s barriers and growth prospects. Service characteristics of both geosynchronous (GEO) and non-GEO services are covered. Communications services forecasts are included for direct-to-home (DTH) digital television subscriber growth, DTH set-top unit and revenue growth to 2001 along with revenue and handset shipment forecasts for mobile voice communications services. Characteristics of DTH and messaging services are covered as well as non-GEO satellite services. For additional information, contact Marc Leon at MRG (408) 524-9769 or e-mail: info@mrgco.com.

Power Semiconductor Market to Reach $2.8 B in 2003

Arecent report from Allied Business Intelligence Inc., "Wireless Power Devices, Transistors, ICs and Power Modules — Strategies, Technologies and Trends," forecasts that, at an annual average growth of 19 percent per year through 2003, wireless power devices will approach the $2.8 B level. Expansion of mobile voice communications equipment is expected to lead to an average annual growth rate for GaAs power amplifier ICs of 26 percent per year for the next five years. On the other hand, GaAs transistors, having already lost a major share of their cellular equipment market to LDMOS power transistors in base station sockets and to GaAs MMICs in handset applications, are forecast to grow at a minimal five percent per year by serving such applications as local multipoint distribution services, broadband satellite systems and point-to-point mm-wave radios. MESFET GaAs power amplifiers are expected to continue to grow at annual double-digit growth rates, but heterojunction bipolar transistor amplifiers, which currently account for approximately 30 percent of the market, are forecast to significantly increase their share of the GaAs power amplifier IC market during the next five years.

The proliferation of cellular and PCS handset producers, many of which will have little experience with high frequency design, is expected to increase the demand for complete power modules, offering easy solutions to the terminals’ RF requirements. According to the report, although existing modules are largely silicon based, GaAs versions are expected to increase their share of the market in the future. For additional information, contact Allied Business Intelligence (516) 624-3113, fax (516) 624-3115 or www.alliedworld.com.

Iridium Equipment Receives GMPCS-MoU Registry Mark

The secretary-general of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has notified its 188 member nations that the Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite-Memorandum of Understanding (GMPCS-MoU) has been implemented for the Iridium system and that Iridium subscriber equipment will carry the new GMPCS-MoU registry mark. Iridium terminals, satellite telephones and pagers manufactured by Motorola and Kyocera are the first GMPCS terminal types to receive authorization to use the GMPCS-MoU mark, which is an essential element in achieving the goal of unrestricted circulation of Iridium handsets across national borders.

Wireless Internet Connection Trial Completes First Year

The first year of the New York State Educational and Research Network (NYSERNet) Wireless Internet Connectivity Trial was completed recently at eight schools and two community organizations in the Rochester, NY area. The trial is designed to test the use of a wireless transmission service to deliver high speed Internet access to organizations that are unable to afford traditional wired access and focuses on the cost, ease of use and functionality of the wireless Internet transmission service.

The trial is being conducted by NYSERNet Inc. and CAI Wireless Systems Inc. Funding for the project is being provided by the National Science Foundation with cost sharing by NYSERNet, CAI Wireless and the organizations that are participating in the trial. A multichannel multipoint distribution service that provides a download capacity of 10 Mbps is employed. Upload service is provided via a standard modem and telephone line. This asymmetrical service is particularly suitable for applications involving a high percentage of information consumption rather than provision. In addition to the high speed information delivery system, each organization is being provided with a registered Internet domain name and e-mail account as well as space on the World Wide Web in which to build a Web site.

The first annual report of the Wireless Internet Connectivity Trial emphasizes the technical performance of the wireless service and integration activity at the participating sites. The report is available on the World Wide Web at www.nysernet.org/projects/wireless.

US Electronics Exports Flat in First Half of 1998; Imports Rise

The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) reports that the $74.3 B worth of electronics equipment exports in the first half of this year were a mere 0.5 percent increase over the total exports during the first half of 1997. Concurrently, imports rose to $86.8 B, a nine percent increase over 1997’s $79.6 B. The overall electronics equipment trade deficit increased significantly from $5.7 B for the six months, ended June 1997, to $12.5 B for the same period this year.

The industrial electronics sector showed the strongest growth with exports of $7.7 B for the six-month period, a 9.8 percent increase over last year’s $7 B. Exports of telecommunications products increased from $9.6 B in 1997 to $10 B this year, a 4.4 percent rise. The smallest product sector, defense communications, enjoyed the highest growth with a 16.9 percent increase to $1.6 B exported during the six-month period compared to $1.4 B during the same period in 1997. The largest sector, computers and peripherals, suffered the largest loss, reporting a 9.3 percent drop in this year’s exports to $13.8 B from $15.3 B in 1997.

Computers and peripherals also registered the only import decline from 1997 to 1998, falling 2.8 percent from $22.2 B to $21.6 B. Among the major product sectors, electronic components imports jumped 10.3 percent from $36 B to $39.7 B, consumer electronics imports increased 10.4 percent from $9.2 B to $10.2 B and telecommunications product imports increased 22.4 percent from $6.7 B to $8.2 B during the same time period.

Supplementing its report on export and import activity through June 1998, the EIA has also published its lists of the top 10 foreign markets for US electronics exports and the top 10 trading partners for electronics imports for the same period. Canada heads the list of export markets for US electronics equipment with $11.5 B for the first half of the year, up three percent over 1997. Reporting an increase of 17 percent over 1997, Mexico is in second place with sales of $8 B and Japan is third with $7.1 B, a 14 percent decrease over last year’s sales of $8.3 B. These top three markets account for one-third of the total electronics export market for the first six months of the year; the top 10 account for nearly 66 percent of the $74.3 B total.

Japan remains the top electronics product supplier to the US despite a two percent drop to $18.4 B for the first six months of the year. Mexico ranks second with sales of $9.7 B and Taiwan ranks third with sales of $7.8 B. The top 10 markets account for 85 percent of the total import market for the first half of the year.

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