& cplSiteName &

Can Major Surgery Rehabilitate DT's Smart Home Platform?

Iain Morris
3/15/2017
50%
50%

Providing connectivity for household appliances besides phones, computers and TVs has long seemed like an obvious opportunity for telcos. But when it launched its Qivicon platform in 2013, Deutsche Telekom was clearly eyeing a more pivotal role in the "smart home." Having watched Qivicon struggle to make a big impact so far, the German operator is hoping that some invasive surgery will now put a spring in the platform's step.

Under the original offer, customers with the requisite home hub could use smart home gadgetry from a range of Qivicon partners, including heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC), Royal Philips Electronics N.V. (NYSE: PHG; Amsterdam: PHI) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Deutsche Telekom's subscribers could choose from several service packages, but Qivicon was also made available through other providers. Dutch telco incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) became a licensee in the Netherlands, while an energy company called EWW launched services in Austria.

Yet Qivicon does not seem to have taken off. Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) does not break out details of smart home revenues or customer numbers, and so it is hard to assess the exact impact that Qivicon has had. But it is probably not significant. Fixed network revenues in Germany last year fell 1.5%, to about €9.66 billion ($10.3 billion, at today's exchange rate), while those from broadband and "broadband-centric options" were static, at roughly €4.04 billion ($4.3 billion).

Qivicon progress has certainly looked halting. At first, Deutsche Telekom was able to quickly attract product partners, without which Qivicon would lack much appeal. But it has signed up few since late 2015, leaving it with about 40 in total today.


For more fixed broadband market coverage and insights, check out our dedicated Broadband content channel here on Light Reading.


Licensees have also been slow to emerge. Besides KPN and EWW, some energy companies in Germany are also offering Qivicon-based services, while a utility called Hitch does so in Norway. But deals in larger European markets have yet to materialize. When UK mobile operator O2 last year said it would offer smart home services based on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Digital Life platform, it seemed as if Qivicon had lost out. Only weeks earlier, Holger Knöpke, then head of Qivicon, had been dismissive of US-based competition, arguing that European operators wanted partner providers "in their time zone." (See Is DT's Qivicon in a Quagmire?)

Knöpke, though, is no longer in charge of Qivicon, and new boss Thomas Rockmann is making a big break with the past. Gone is any mention of Qivicon in Deutsche Telekom's latest marketing materials. Instead, the talk is all about "white label" smart home services, as Deutsche Telekom tries to broaden the platform's appeal. Henceforth, partners will be sought not only for new products but also for the applications that smart home customers use.

Importantly, providers can also now integrate the platform with third-party gateways and technologies, including the Alexa digital assistant developed by Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). "Needing to have the Qivicon home hub as a separate gateway is a barrier if you want to reach out to the mass market," Rockmann told Light Reading on the sidelines of the recent Mobile World Congress trade show.

Next page: The jury's out

(13)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/27/2017 | 4:57:47 PM
Re: Microwaveable
I still can't see an immediate short term success for the smart home folks. Unless all new buildings automatically include the gear from the start, it's hard to get people to retrofit older buidling as there's not yet that applications that everyone just "has to get now." That would explain why "... Qivicon does not seem to have taken off."
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2017 | 12:50:28 PM
Re: Microwaveable
There's a debate going on now regarding which dystopian novel from the first half of the 20th century is more relevant today, 1984 or Brave New World. A mashup of those two is in order. I agree that we are ceding some claims to privacy -- and some of our humanity -- in this grand digital transformation. I wouldn't blame it all on the kids, though. It's hard to go anywhere without encountering a healthy number of phone zombies, and they come in all ages, shapes, and sizes.
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2017 | 10:01:44 AM
Re: Microwaveable
Dennis,

My point was that the generation that posts everything on Facebook seems little concerned about intrusion.  I wonder what George Orwell would think of them.

seven

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2017 | 9:09:06 AM
Re: Microwaveable
Facebook is voluntary submission to intrusion. Not quite the same as having always-on devices that can be turned to a variety of purposes, whether real or imagined.
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2017 | 7:41:26 PM
Re: Microwaveable
Uhhh....Facebook...Intrusion...

seven

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2017 | 9:22:58 AM
Re: Microwaveable
At some point, there will be some pushback regarding technology intrusiveness. It's taking a while for people to catch on to the issue, in large part because the intrusive technologies so far (smartphones mainly) deliver more perceived benefiits that negate intrusion issues. Connected cars will be another major test point.
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/16/2017 | 5:54:01 PM
Re: Microwaveable
@mendy I wondered the same. I wouldn't expect the smart home to be all that appealing so early in product lifecycles -- especially in Europe.
jamesjparker
50%
50%
jamesjparker,
User Rank: Lightning
3/16/2017 | 11:50:23 AM
ARPU?
What did DT charge for a monthly ARPU?
They could have priced themselves out of the market!
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/16/2017 | 10:47:53 AM
Re: Microwaveable
Don't forget the video-enabled microwaves. The Deep State loves those things.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/16/2017 | 10:08:20 AM
Re: Microwaveable
Seems like home security will be the major thing. Video door bells are widely used now (especially if you live in an apartment). Connected security cams are also getting affordable and commensurately popular.

Quite how this maps to multi-room music players, digital assistants, connected toasters, thermostats, and so on, is less clear. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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 Interviews
Masergy: It's Time for SD-WAN Options

6|28|17   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Paul Ruelas, director of network products for Masergy, explains how adding SD-WAN has changed the service mix for his company's customers. In some cases, the change is incremental, enabling more granular customer control. Masergy's newest version, SD-WAN Go, gives up some of those controls for a streamlined version targeting mid-sized customers with the most ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (1) comment


5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX at ANGA COM

6|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


At ANGA COM 2017, Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX, updates Alan Breznick with VeEX's new products and technology. This includes VeSion cloud-based platform for network monitoring, AT2500-3G advanced spectrum analyzer and MTTplus-900 WiFi Air Expert module. He also comments on DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and Remote PHY technology.
LRTV Custom TV
The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
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
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
Hulu Is Greatest Threat to Pay-TV Providers – Study
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 6/27/2017
Calix: Russo's Not-So-Overnight Success?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 6/28/2017
Verizon Takes 'One Fiber' to More Cities
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/22/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
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 ...
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.