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NFV Can Enable the Smart Home – Telecom Italia

Ray Le Maistre

LONDON -- Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum -- The introduction of NFV into network strategies could enable telcos to develop a profitable smart home business case, according to an executive from Telecom Italia (TIM) .

Speaking here Wednesday during a panel discussion, Gianfranco Ciccarella, vice president, Global Advisory Services, at the Italian national operator, said that communications service providers are well positioned to offer managed smart home services to consumers, using broadband connections to reach into customers' smart homes and monitor, update and manage all manner of connected devices and digital applications.

The idea isn't new, but identifying a profitable business model has been a sticking point. Now, though, NFV could be the catalyst for change and make remote smart home management by telcos a profitable opportunity.

"Investments are needed to enable us to manage devices in the home, and NFV can help reduce those costs," noted Ciccarella.

An affordable business plan for smart home managed services could open a whole host of opportunities and enable new partnerships too. Paul Berriman, CTO at HKT Ltd. , noted that broadband gives telcos the kind of reach that can't be matched by major players from other sectors that also want a stake in the smart home.

Berriman said a power utility had approached HKT about smart home service delivery collaboration. The utilities have billing relationships with home owners but their physical plant stops at a box on the outside of the house, whereas CSPs have a deeper reach via home gateways and broadband routers.

"We can gather the data they need for smart energy services. They could look at this is an over-the-top opportunity," but telcos have the know-how and capabilities to be productive partners, saving the power companies from having to develop a whole new range of skills.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
9/24/2014 | 2:04:57 PM
Not just "can"
It's essential. Smart homes won't scale if carriers have to trundle out dedicated hardware anytime somebody buys a new microwave. 
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