Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Akamai's Patent Win Over LimeLight Networks Opens Up Interesting Possibilities For CDN Space

When Akamai won the patent dispute with LimeLight Networks, it changed the playing field for the content delivery space. Or maybe I should say, it prevents it from changing.

What does this verdict mean to the content delivery network (CDN) space and what role will WAN acceleration software play?

Rumor had it Akamai was trying to buy LimeLight Networks during the patent trial.

Akamai said it will ask the Court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting Limelight from infringing the patents, which Limelight has said could force it to shut down its CDN (content delivery network) service.

This decision gives Akamai an even stronger grip on the business of pre-positioning content near the edges of the network for mass distribution.

Akamai and their IP are/have become the "defacto monopoly of the content delivery network space"

Monopolies are never a good thing for an emerging industry, but there are ways around Akamai's stronghold.

Is there a way around Akamai's IP?

This is the third time Akamai successfully sued patent infringement, Cable and Wireless in 2001 and with Speedera in 2005 (eventually Akamai bought Speedera).

Dan Rayburn from The Business Of Video believes LimeLight Networks is in play:

Discussions are underway about Limelight being acquired by a larger player in the space who would then fight Akamai in court over the ruling. Limelight does not have a lot of resources to fight such a ruling nor an extensive patent portfolio so they are limited in what they can do. While rumors have been circulating about Limelight being acquired by Microsoft, I am predicting it would be AT&T or Level 3. Talks are intensifying about the acquisition and I put the chance at over 50%.

Akamai's patent 6,108,703, deals with a global hosting system that "allows a content provider to replicate and serve its most popular content at an unlimited number of points throughout the world" and was originally awarded to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000.

LimeLight Network customers include: Microsoft, FaceBook, Dreamworks and Amazon.

Om Malik in his piece called Hardware guys buying software today said "While Web 2.0 companies may get acquired by Google (or Yahoo), specialized software start-ups with products that enhance hardware will find buyers more often. Expect this trend to continue, and in fact gain momentum"

The rest of the story: (technically speaking)

This patent ruling gives Akamai an even stronger grip on the business of pre-positioning content near the edges of the network for mass distribution.

Why would one want to pre-position content like this?

1) To save on the amount of data sent across the trunk of the network.
2) So that there is almost no network latency between the point of caching (the edge servers) and the end user.

Nothing’s free. What is the downside of pre-distributing data like this in a CDN model?

1) You have to pay for all those edge servers.
2) You have to know where the data is going to be needed. This means in practice that you can only pre-position “popular” content.

Now that Akamai is even closer to dominating the CDN space, however, I expect that the cost of CDN services won’t fall as fast. Said another way, the cost of CDN edge serving will stay higher. What are the options?

The issue of network latency has been another driving reason why data had to be cached near the end user. That is changing.

There is a better way, and avoids Akamai's IP.

There is software which essentially neutralize the effects of latency on data transfer.

Using this sort of new technology, being far away from the source of data no longer determines how fast the data can get to you. Only data pipe sizes determine the bottleneck, and those are growing very, very fast. (Verizon now even offers 50 Mb/s symmetric FiOS service to consumers in some areas.)

So, how compelling is the CDN model now? See what CDN players should be looking at?

Of course, trunk bandwidth isn’t free, but as bandwidth prices fall faster than edge caching prices, CDNs become relatively less attractive to the alternative: Serve data out of one central location (or two, for redundancy) using WAN acceleration software or a similar geography-busting technology.

Think of this as a cheaper “personal CDN.” It’s also a whole lot simpler and faster to implement, and you can control everything yourself.

While LimeLight may still be in play, it could be for a different reason.

It’s even feasible that a company like Limelight would turn to such a technology and implement exactly this. If you can’t beat Akamai at its own game, they just might hitch onto another wagon and drive around them!

Software that essentially neutralizes the effects of latency on data transfer, is a space to watch.

Google To Offer Wi-Fi On Steroids...Could Mass Broadband Adoption Be Near?

Google is expected to offer wireless Internet on upcoming unused TV channels in February. By doing so they could create the grand slam versus the triple play to homes.

Google could prove once again that it doesn't need to build a network in order to be the key player for it.

Google is calling for unused portions of the broadcast television spectrum (channels 2 through 51) to be opened up, so as to create new broadband offerings with potentially faster speed and reach than Wi-Fi.

In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission released by Google on Monday, the Search Engine giant has called on the government to open up the so called "white space" unused channels on the television for unlicensed use in hopes of enabling more widespread, affordable Internet access over the airwaves.

In a March 21 letter, Google outlined the benefits of auctioning the unused television airwaves in real time to wireless Internet providers and others. Google’s proposed “dynamic auction”, which sounds similar to search ad auctions, would allow WiFi providers to bid on television signal airwaves that are currently not in use, awarding the space to the highest bidder at the time.

Google has unveiled plans to use the "White Space" between television channels in the US to create a " Wi-Fi 2.0 or Wi-Fi on steroids" less than a week after being "unsuccessful" in the 700Mhz spectrum auction in the US

Google said the "white space", located between channels 2 and 51 on TV sets that aren't hooked up to satellite or cable services, offer a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans."

White space devices could use the so-called white space in the current analog television spectrum (2MHz to 698MHz) to deliver wireless broadband service.

Moreover, the company is developing an open source platform for mobile devices which could use the available television airwaves to surf the Web, download software, and make calls. Handsets using Google’s “Android” platform will become commercially available this year, according to Google’s letter.

Some things to ponder:

Will a device that uses the "white space" be able to switch to other frequencies while mobile?
What are the distance capabilities?
How does this affect wireless providers, cable companies?
How could this affect Qualcom?

Who wins, who loses if this "white space" becomes Internet enabled?

Friday, March 21, 2008

700 MHz Spectrum... Disruption Ahead

The 700 MHz spectrum winners could hold the key to many forms of wireless disruption.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T took the biggest prize in a federal auction of wireless spectrum that holds the promise of creating a nationwide, high-speed data network, the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday.

Google did what many thought it'd do, bid up to the reserve amount for the prized C block spectrum to ensure its open access rules would be enacted and then bow out to the eventual winner Verizon Wireless.

Google got the open access it eagerly craves.

The win lets Verizon operate any wireless service it wants across the entire US on a slice of frequency that will be dropped by analog broadcast TV in 2009.

The coveted C block, a large swath of 700 megahertz spectrum that will be vacated next year when broadcast television providers go digital.The spectrum is favored because of its wide reach and ability to pass through walls.

Telecom experts point out that this band of spectrum, formerly used by UHF television signals, is particularly well suited to long-range broadband data transmissions, using emerging standards such as WiMax or "fourth-generation" cellular technologies.

"As a result of the auction, consumers whose devices use the C-block of spectrum soon will be able to use any wireless device they wish, and download to their devices any applications and content they wish," wrote Google attorneys Richard Whitt and Joseph Faber on Google's blog.

FCC Chairman said "As a result of the 700 MHz Auction, there is the potential for an additional wireless ‘third-pipe” in every market across the nation".

The spectrum is considered ideal for cellular applications because wireless signals sent over the band can travel long distances, requiring operators to deploy less network equipment than in higher spectrum bands.

Observers said the new spectrum will help create a truly untethered environment for wireless users, giving them the chance to access the Internet anywhere from a variety of devices. Currently, Wi-Fi is generally short-ranged and is not mobile, while today's cellular data services offer mobility and great range but lower performance.

What solution will be required to accommodate all of these devices, another disruptive technology.

Why this could be big for Nokia.

The new spectrum, which might boast speeds well above current DSL, users will be able to get a wide pipe to access music, videos, social networking sites and other bandwidth-intensive content. It could also open up a range of new applications like medical monitoring. Users will also be to connect consumer electronics devices to the Internet.

The list of 700 MHz winners.

There are some little companies worth keeping an eye on.

UpCode And Their Mobile Barcode Win Nokia's Best Mobile Enterprise Application

Congrats to Physical World Connection player UpCode!

Nokia holds the annual 'Mobile Rules!' competition, the world's leading awards for innovative mobile business plans and cutting-edge applications, services and technologies from developers and entrepreneurs from around the globe.

Nokia announced their Mobile Rules 08' Winners and UpCode and their mobile barcode application were named Best Mobile Enterprise Application

“Nokia is very pleased to recognize UpCode for parking system as the Best Mobile Application in the enterprise category and a member of an exclusive group of innovators selected as top-prize winners in our second annual ‘Mobile Rules!’ competition,” said Tom Libretto, Vice President, Forum Nokia

UpCode parking is a 'point&click' mobile solution using the highly developed UpCode(TM) program, which enables a mobile phone to act as an optical reader to 'scan' any physical object, on any surface or on-screen by 'clicking' at a mobile barcode. UpCode is free for non-commercial and non- professional use and users pay only according to existing Internet tariffs charged by the mobile service provider.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Top 10 Daily Disruptive Technology Combinations...And Two More Potentials

Each "disruption" had the ability to create and destroy wealth. Disruption, like change, is inevitable.
disruptive technology
Dan Tynan, from PC World offers his The 10 Most Disruptive Technology Combinations

Dan offers another way to look at disruption. Instead of looking for disruption from one technology/solution, it comes when two technologies converge.

Readers should note the disruption that Dan lists as #1, because it is just starting to occur.

Disruption is rarely the result of a single gadget or innovation, however. It's typically when two or more technologies converge that the real changes start to happen.

10. Time shifted viewing + Digital video recorder (Tivo)

The whatever/wherever/whenever model of media consumption is turning both Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry on their heads, and forcing advertisers to rethink ways to capture our attention.

9. YouTube + Cheap Digital Cameras and Camcorders

Digital video has made mini-Hitchcocks of everyone. YouTube and its many cousins give the masses a place to put their masterworks. Journalism, politics, and entertainment will never be the same

8. Open Source + Web Tools

The Net is seeing a new boom in Web 2.0 companies that are more stable and more interesting than their dot-com-era predecessors. And with phones usingGoogle's Linux-based Android operating systemslated to appear this year, open source could disrupt the wireless market as well.

7. MP3 + Napster

The idea that media should be portable is disruptive. The notion that it should be free--and that some artists can survive, or even thrive, despite a lack of sales revenue--is even more so.

6. Blogs + Google Ads

Blogs give everyone a public voice, while Google gives bloggers a way to fund and market themselves--and the economy of the 21st century is born.

5. Cheap Storage + Portable Memory

Where would we be today without cheap, capacious, portable storage? No iPods. No YouTube. No Gmail. No cloud computing

4. Cloud Computing + Always-On Devices

For enterprises, cloud computing provides the benefits of a data center without the cost and hassle of maintaining one. For consumers, it offers the promise of cheaper, simpler devices that let them access their data and their applications from anywhere.

3. Broadband + Wireless Networks

Broadband has created an explosion of video and music Web sites and VoIP services, while Wi-Fi is bringing the Net to everyday household appliances such as stereos, TVs, and home control systems. Together, they're making the connected home a reality.

2. The Web + The Graphical Browser

Media firms, publishing companies, and advertisers now think Web first, and broadcast or print second.

1. Cell Phones + Wireless Internet Access

The ability to be reachable 24/7 is morphing into the ability to surf the Net from any location. And it's forcing monopolistic wireless companies to open up their networks to new devices and services.

I would like to add my top two disruptive technology combinations.

Physical World Connection

Cheap RFID tags, or any machine readable identifier + ubiquitous Internet access

When any physical object is able to be "turned on" or connected to the Net, the ability to deliver and receive information will create a true Internet. Scanning a Coke can's barcode/RFID tag to receive a video clip or coupon on your mobile phone (Physical World Connection)...to controlling a semiconductor machine in China from Silicon Valley (device relationship management DRM)

Cognitive Radio + "the next Windows for wireless devices"

The wireless space will experience unprecedented growth when any Internet connected device is able to change its transmission or reception parameters. I think the operating system (software) that is able to manage hardware for this is "Next Microsoft"

A listing of other potential disruptive technologies

What is your top disruptive technology combination?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2D Mobile Bar Codes Replace Airline Boarding Passes

The NY Times has a story about airlines replacing paper boarding passes with 2d mobile barcodes.
barcode boarding pass
Electronic boarding passes, which essentially turn the hand-held devices and mobile phones of travelers into their boarding passes.

Some of the companies that are involved in mobile ticketing.

At least half a dozen airlines in the United States currently allow customers to check in using their mobile devices, including American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest and Alaska.

But so far, Continental is the only carrier in the United States to begin testing the electronic passes, allowing those travelers to pass through security and board the plane without handling a piece of paper. Their boarding pass is an image of an encrypted bar code displayed on the phone’s screen, which can be scanned by gate agents and security personnel.

The technology being tested by Continental uses a two-dimensional encrypted bar code, which is much tougher to copy than the one-dimensional bar code used by many airlines for boarding passes printed online. And that is a major reason the T.S.A. is expected to embrace the technology.

Intel Introduces Long Distance Wi-Fi

How could this affect WiMax?intel wifi

Intel has found a way to stretch a Wi-Fi signal from one antenna to another located more than 60 miles away.

Intel has announced plans to sell a specialized Wi-Fi platform later this year that can send data from a city to outlying rural areas tens of miles away, connecting sparsely populated villages to the Internet.

The wireless technology, is called the rural connectivity platform (RCP).

The data rates are high enough--up to about 6.5 megabits per second--that the connection could be used for video conferencing and telemedicine

Monday, March 17, 2008

What Does This Do To The Value Of YouTube?

How does this affect Internet advertising, and the value of YouTube?

Companies across the U.S. are starting to prevent their employees from accessing Internet-video services (YouTube) at work.

Now, online video has become an increasing irritation. Worker productivity is being jeopardized as short, often low-quality video clips popularized by YouTube are being joined by better-quality video services with long-form content.

(here's the kicker)

According to a study released last month by Nielsen Online, an Internet tracking service owned by Nielsen Co., the heaviest consumption of Internet video is during weekday lunch hours from noon to 2 p.m., when most people are at work.

Isn't that the equivalent of turning off TV and ads during prime time?

Bandwidth capacity relief for corporate networks?

Online video also is taxing already strained corporate networks. It poses a particular problem for smaller companies, which have limited bandwidth capacity to accommodate bulky video files. Online video files on average are about seven times as large as audio files, and 100 times as large as e-mail

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nortel Solves Bandwidth Explosion With Adaptive Optical Engine...40-100 Gbps

Nortel introduces the industry's first optical technology that can deliver both 40G and 100G network capacity with the Adaptive Optical Engine.

Nortel's 40G/100G Adaptive Optical Engine is a revolutionary technology platform that enables both 40Gbps and 100Gbps transmission over today's existing infrastructures, increasing capacity 4 and 10-fold respectively without complex network re-engineering.

Nortel's 40G/100G solution is particularly intriguing because it allows carriers the use their existing 10G network with minor upgrades to deliver 40G and all of the new capabilities that affords.

Comcast's live 100 G network trial will be first time real traffic is run over a 100G wavelength on its existing network that is also carrying live 10G and 40G links.

"We can only imagine what new innovations may be sparked by the capabilities made possible with this technology," said Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel

The End Of The Internet?....Or The Start Of Something Bigger

Another disruption coming, who wins, who loses.

The New York Times has a story called Video Hogs Causing Internet Traffic Jam
Last year, by one estimate, the video site YouTube, owned by Google, consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000

a research firm projected that user demand for the Internet could outpace network capacity by 2011.

Nemertes Research, which predicted the bandwidth squeeze by 2011

Experts say, say, high-speed networks are increasingly the economic and scientific petri dishes of innovation, spawning new businesses, markets and jobs. If American investment lags behind, they warn, the nation risks losing competitiveness to countries that are making the move to higher-speed Internet access a priority.

And upgrades needed in data centers are going to be a lot more expensive than in the past, now that all the excess capacity left over after the dot-com bubble burst has been gobbled up

Hewlett Packard's $1.6B buy of Opsware, should give us some clues on what to look for.

Some more ponderings on bandwidth.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Other SaaS .....Storage As A Service

Who wins the "virtual land grab"?

While the physical real estate market is in the tank, the virtual real estate market has never been hotter.

Some interesting notes from an article in Investor's Business Daily called Digital Data Deluge Picking Up The Pace that has me wondering if there's a boom coming to those that spot and cater to this trend.

The amount of digital data is growing so fast even the experts can't keep up.

the amount of digital information created, captured and replicated in the world as of Dec. 31, 2007, was 281 billion gigabytes. That's 10% more than expected by an IDC study done just a year ago.

"There are more bits in the digital universe than there are in the physical universe,"

IDC says that we're at a turning point in our history where the amount of available data storage roughly equals the amount of digital data. In the years to come, storage will lag data. And by 2011, almost half of the digital universe will have no sort of permanent domicile.

I can see Dell, Best Buy, or an Internet service provider introducing a monthly service that will backup your data and clean up (anti-virus updates) your PC.

Do you think people will trust a virtual company like Google to manage all of their data?

People still want to be able to call up and speak to an agent or tech support. Would you want your data stored with a company that fulfills millions of search requests everyday. While Google may say data stored with them won't be included in their public database, would you take that chance?

A recurring revenue opportunity that can be headquartered anywhere. Reliability and security the only factor.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Project Canoe....A Google Ad Buster?

Project Canoe an effort by all six major cable companies in the U.S. to deliver targeted TV ads to viewers through their set-top boxes.

Collectively, the cable companies will initially put about $150 million behind the effort in order to build a national service that can sell targeted advertising across all six cable systems (NYTimes)

The cable companies may control the set-top boxes, but they only collectively control about $5 billion of the $70 billion spent each year on TV ads. Most of those are local spots. With better ad targeting through Project Canoe the cable companies hope to triple their take to $15 billion. But that may be wishful thinking.

The Pondering Primate thinks The Next Google is able to collect data, second-by-second, from all services/devices connected to the broadband pipe and deliver relevant advertising to ANY display.

Do you know who does that now?

A hint (3/11/2008)

we provide customizable data and analytic tools to cable operators and programming networks, now manages more than 36 billion transactions from more than 45 million set-top boxes, 35,000 movie screens and 10,000 home-video locations across North America and other countries around the world. It said it now processes more transactions annually than credit-card giant American Express".

To be able to deliver a targeted ad on ANY Internet enabled device...that's The Next Google

WiFi Hotspots...Being Phased Out Like Telephone Booths?

The demise of WiFi hotspots is another disruptive event with many winners and losers.

Ericsson marketing officer is predicting the demise of hotspots

As mobile broadband takes off, Wi-Fi hotspots will become as irrelevant as telephone booths, Ericsson Chief Marketing Officer Johan Bergendahlphone booth said Monday.

Mobile broadband is growing faster than mobile or fixed telephony ever did, Bergendahl said.

"Hotspots at places like Starbucks are becoming the telephone boxes of the broadband era," said Bergendahl. In Austria they are saying that mobile broadband will pass fixed broadband this year.

Is the decline in Starbucks business already reflecting this?

If WiFi hotspots are becoming outdated, what major hardware company could face a slowdown?

What company(s) provide the solutions for mobile broadband?

What retailers (other than Starbucks) rely on WiFi service as a selling tool? Hotels, restaurants etc. How much revenue will be lost if travelers no longer require broadband through the hotels?

What major internet provider for the lodging industry should be changing their business?

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Next Generation Internet Holding Company

Our goal is finding major transformations and disruptive technologies which lead us to the next great investment.

Last year Visionary Innovations discovered a company thatdisruptive technology developed a revolutionary way to use radio frequency for medical procedures (surgeries)....disruptive technology for multi-billion dollar markets.

Based on our success with Intuitive Surgical and their revolutionary technology, we saw this same potential with this medical technology.

CSMG Technologies (OTC:BB CTUM) and their Live Tissue Connect, have a revolutionary device and patented methodology that allow surgeons to use radio frequency as a faster (under one minute), tighter, virtually bloodless, smokeless (sterile OR) wound seal that doesn’t burn or kill tissue, virtually leaving no scar in 60 days.

This disruptive technology is revolutionizing surgery because it eliminates the need for sutures, staples, glues and sealants.

Live Tissue Connect uses patented radio wave technology to bond and reconnect living soft biological tissue.

We published our report on this scar-less surgery last summer and called it the Next Intuitive Surgical

Wall Street is now starting to recognize this enormous opportunity for this microcap company.

Always on the lookout for disruptive technologies and the next great investment, we think found another.

We Found A Unique Opportunity

Very rarely, if ever, do we find a way to invest in breakthrough state-of-the-art technology, along side with some of the smartest investors in Silicon Valley, at a fraction of the cost, in a publicly traded vehicle, run by execs with billion dollar track records AND on the verge of generating revenues for various new and existing multi-billion dollar markets.

Pondering Primate readers are familiar with some "daily disruptions" I have discussed and how they will create multi-billion dollar opportunities.

Some of the biggest disruptions and opportunities include:

1. Offering Internet Access To Millions With Aviation Broadband

What company will offer "true broadband" to millions of new Internet users? Not only a broadband Internet provider, but a "true broadband" content deliverer too.

2. Comcast Throttles BitTorrent Traffic

Could there be a bigger Dot-Com IPO than BitTorrent?

3. WAN Optimization Software In Big Demand

Companies want to fully utilize their broadband connection. There is a huge demand for network intelligence "middleware" or WAN optimization software. A WAN acceleration space disruptor? Software than sends data cross-country and gets speeds up to 200 Mbps.

4. The Next Big Thing..Video On The Internet

One word...YouTube. Who can provide a high fidelity solution for YouTube?

5. The Boom For Bandwidth Efficiency

"MiddleWare" that allows the Internet to fill up the pipes. The bigger the pipes, the more it helps..especially on long pipes.

6. Bandwidth, What Is It Good For, Absolutely Everything

Quoting Om Malik "While Web 2.0 companies may get acquired by Google (or Yahoo), specialized software start-ups with products that enhance hardware will find buyers more often. Expect this trend to continue, and in fact gain momentum"

The ability to send/receive/stream high def data, without changing the network, is becoming of great value to the hardware companies, video sites, e-commerce sites and service providers. This is a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

Visionary Innovations found a company run by seasoned Silicon Valley executives, with a portfolio of disruptive technology, hidden from Wall Street, that provide solutions for all of these problems.

Technology developed by U.S. Government and top VCs unlocks the “Next Generation of the Net”

We think we found
The Next Generation Internet Holding Company (research report)

Let us know your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Goss Testing Cell Phone-To-Print Ad Technology

Could Goss and their mobile codes save the newspaper industry?

Goss International Corp. is putting the finishing touches on software aimed at making it easier for cell phone users to interact with print ads.

The offering, GossRSVP, is based on a two-dimensional barcode that appears in a company’s print advertisement. Consumers use their cell phones to either snap a picture of the code or text-message a request about the specific ad to Goss, which in turn sends back a promotional reward and other marketing information to the user.

GossRSVP also offers a complementary promotions program, MyRSVPrewards.com, which allows advertisers to give out text coupons, additional information about a product or service, directions to retail location and information about daily specials.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Vodafone Launches Otello, An Image Search For Mobile Phones

Images are search engine's new keywords.

Last week Physical World Connection player SnapTell launched their image recognition application for the mobile.

Vodafone Shows Image Search for Mobile Phones (NY Times)
image recognition
At the Cebit trade show in Germany, Vodafone is demonstrating Otello, a search engine that uses images as input.

Instead of entering a word or phrase users send pictures via MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) from their mobile phones.

The picture can be anything from a historical building to a CD cover, according to Vodafone. Otello then returns information relevant to the picture to the mobile phone, just like a normal search engine.

Vodafone's reasoning behind image search is that it's more convenient to take a picture than to enter search terms with a phone that lacks a normal keyboard.

Starting Monday Vodafone is conducting a trial with German paper Bild. Readers can find out more about specially-marked articles by photographing them with their mobile phone camera and sending the image to Bild.

Anyone know who could open their enormous database of images for this service?

Think of the possibilities if any image could direct a mobile user to a specific URL.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Chinese Disruption

china flag
How disruptive could this be?

China may consider changing its one-child policy because it has helped slow population growth over the last three decades, a Chinese official said Sunday.

There would be an estimated 400 million more people in China without it.

Under the current mandate, Beijing limits most urban couples to one child and rural couples to two to conserve scarce resources.

There are also concerns about China's aging population, with those aged 60 or older expected to top 200 million by 2015 and 280 million by 2025, according to the government