& cplSiteName &

Are Cable's Smart Homes a Smart Move?

Light Reading
LR Cable Opinion
Light Reading
7/11/2012
50%
50%

The Digital Home is an age-old industry concept. Since the earliest days of digital technology in the 1990s, tradeshows for cable, consumer electronics, and other communications and entertainment industries presented mock homes that showed off the wonders of the Digital Age. As the Web, broadband and wireless technology flourished, the Digital Home evolved into the Connected Home and the Connected Consumer.

Now the concepts surrounding the Connected Home are being renewed and refined. The cable industry, as well as its service provider competitors, are brushing up the home network concepts and making them new again, with the help of recent technology innovations and fresh strategies, according to the latest Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, Cable Gears Up for Another Smart-Home Run.

Cable's Connected Home is becoming the Smart Home, one that provides extensive entertainment and communications that move around the home or even beyond the home, as well as security, energy management and other home automation services.

"We really have no interest in being just a security provider. It's really all about broadband and the connected home," said Mitch Bowling, SVP and GM, new businesses for Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), during a 2012 Cable Show panel on home automation.

The Heavy Reading report reviews many of the technologies that make the Smart Home possible:

  • A high-capacity broadband pipe into the home, fueled by Docsis 3.0 (D3) wideband Internet capability for download speeds of up to about 150 Mbit/s, or even faster as cable embraces emerging fiber optic technologies.

  • A multimedia gateway, initially in the form of a Docsis-fueled set-top box (STB) and eventually a whole-home hybrid gateway that includes a D3 modem and STB functionality in a single device.

  • MoCA and DNLA support to route media around the home and serve various consumer electronics. Smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, videogame consoles and other broadband-connected devices provide platforms for cable's TV Everywhere services, live streams and on-demand apps.

  • A cloud-based interactive program guide (IPG) that improves TV navigation and offers a platform for over-the-top (OTT) Web services, interactive apps and service management.

  • Smart-home automation with touchpads to control security monitoring, digital thermostats and lighting and eventually provide services such as remote healthcare.


The report assesses cable's prospects for smart-home services and the technologies that support whole-home experiences and automation. It includes profiles of nine suppliers, including those that support whole-home networking through hybrid gateways and related products, as well as cable's go-to provider of home automation services, iControl.

The enhanced service capabilities increase cable providers' prospects to retain customers and build high-profit-margin broadband businesses, the report says. The more that cable providers can integrate the new broadband applications into a cohesive experience for customers, the greater chance they have that customers will stick with cable as their provider of choice.

Yet cable faces stiff competition for smart-home automation from existing security companies, telcos and other service providers, as well as retail products, the report says. MSOs are asking customers to pay about $30 to $50 per month plus an installation fee amid a down economy and uncertain consumer demand for home automation.

MSOs must educate consumers about the benefits of smart home services and market them successfully in order to achieve meaningful penetration, the report concludes. When it comes to home security, cable must prove that it is highly reliable and trustworthy.

Cable providers want to be the "the trusted provider" for all consumer services, said Asheesh Saksena, EVP and chief strategy officer, Cox Communications Inc. . "This is one of those instances where trust matters."

— Craig Leddy, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider


This report, "Cable Gears Up for Another Smart-Home Run," is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/cable.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
The time has come for a telecom app store to save the industry.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink CTO on Transformation

5|16|17   |   7:43   |   (0) comments


The 50-year-old telco has already gone through several transformations, including every time it made an acquisition, but its purchase of Level 3 coupled with changes in technology and customer expectations necessitates its biggest transformation yet.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2017

5|15|17   |   5:05   |   (1) comment


Find out who made it into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Interviews
Site Visit: AT&T's Tel Aviv R&D Center

5|15|17   |   09:58   |   (1) comment


Nir Shalom, general manager and VP of application development at AT&T Israel, talks about the key service developments undertaken at the AT&T R&D facility in Tel Aviv and how the team there has adopted new ways of working.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Act on Your Intelligence With Amdocs aia!

5|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Amdocs CMO Gary Miles explains how communications service providers can seize the AI opportunity with Amdocs real-time digital intelligence platform.
LRTV Interviews
Logtel CEO: Making Sense of IoT

5|15|17   |   09:48   |   (0) comments


Jacques Bensimon, founder and CEO of Tel Aviv-based training and consultancy Logtel, talks about the need to make IoT more than just a buzzword.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Challenges of Mobile Banking Implementation

5|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Kamal Quadir of bKash Limited explains the challenges and needs of implementing mobile banking in the Bangladesh market.
LRTV Interviews
Tel Aviv: A Hub of Innovation

5|10|17   |   07:58   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Dan Allen discuss the technology innovation, food and amazing sights they witnessed during a recent trip to Israel.
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
BSS Is BS, Says KPN Tech Boss
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/16/2017
AT&T's Donovan: Women Adapt Faster Than Men
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 5/18/2017
Verizon on M&A: Who Needs a Cableco?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/17/2017
Standardization Needs Room for Innovation
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/17/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.