"There is an opportunity to make a 'Home' experience rather than a WeMo or Google experience and aggregate the different solutions to one interface," say Comcast engineering fellow Mark Francisco and Charles Cheevers, CTO for the CPE business at ARRIS, in a paper presented at the INTX cable show in Chicago.
"The penetration rates of these services have been typically below five percent of the homes served by an MSO," Francisco
and Cheevers note.
"These services, particularly security, have inertia factors from cost-per-month to the hassle factors of installation in the home," and they "are typically also not integrated into the MSO's own gateway and TV experience.
Thus they do not leverage any real CapEx synergies to improve the ROI or capability to lower the overall cost per month."
But, they quickly add, this is no reason to give up on the possibilities of the connected home segment of the global IoT market, which McKinsey
predicts will reach $200 billion to $350 billion by 2025.
"It's clear that the MSO cannot ignore this trend of connecting more and more devices in the home," Francisco
and Cheevers say.
"Rather than let it just be a burden on the connectivity infrastructure that the MSO has invested in, it seems that there is real opportunity to drive new revenue opportunities from onboarding…new devices and creating value-add elements in the connectivity and service ecosystems."
and Cheevers argue, when it comes to standing up their own connected-home services, operators have many assets to leverage, including technicians in the field, direct customer relationships, the ability to amass and put to good use immense amounts of data, and a vendor supply chain offering a new generation of solutions for building holistic, multi-application services.
But they don't yet have the whole-home networking environment suited to supporting a plug-and-play mode of application activation that expands consumers' options while unburdening them of the costs and hassles that come with setting up multiple, incompatible solutions throughout the home.
Operators will need to be able to deploy gateways, Wi-Fi extenders, set-tops and even remote controls that are equipped to support short-range wireless connectivity protocols like IEEE 802.15.4, used with ZigBee connections, and Bluetooth low energy (BLE).
"This allows for easy onboarding of any service provider IoT devices or consumers' own purchased wireless devices," say Francisco
and Cheevers argue that in exchange for incurring the one-time CapEx and installation costs to put this automated wireless platform in place operators will have an open door to exploiting whatever IoT opportunities they see for years to come in the context of offering consumers a much lower cost and better service experience.