As smart home services sales head towards $71bn, are mobile operators’ networks fit for purpose?

Mobile & tablets

by Amy-jo Crowley| 12 February 2014

The figure represents 80% of the global smart home sales.

Mobile operators need to make sure their networks are modernised to IPv6 as smart home services sales are set to hit $71bn by 2018, according to the latest research.

They should minimise Internet transit costs while maintaining the quality-of-service (QoS) and quality-of-experience (QoE) as video content delivered over IP grows more common, the analyst firm Juniper Research argued.

Juniper said sales, which represent 80% of total Smart Home service revenues, would be driven by entertainment services as connection speeds increase and service providers offer greater volumes of content.

Steffen Sorrell, author of the report, told CBR: "We're already seeing an enormous amount of traffic from video content delivered over IP, so investment needs to happen in order to maintain things like QoS/QoE and minimise Internet transit costs.

"On the network layer, transition to IPv6 needs to happen sooner rather than later, as this transition will become progressively more expensive as time goes by."

He added: "There's still a significant opportunity on the automation side of things; manufacturing and deployment costs will only reduce as demand grows. The technology is already in place to make it happen, there just needs to be a value proposition for the consumer, and that's where the Internet of Things (IoT) comes in."

He suggested that industry stakeholders collaborate to enable IoT services.

"There are still a number of walled garden or proprietary solutions within the Smart Home sphere that are limiting choice", he explained.

"A consumer might be looking at system A but also wants some elements of system B, but they won't interoperate without significant effort. The consumer wants a plug-and-play solution that they can just drop into the home and have it work.

"It's not as simple as offering something that turns the lights on and off from your phone - the real Internet of Things home is an intelligent home.

"You need devices to be able to relay and respond to information to and from other devices, and you need intelligent processing going on in the background to enable this; no single stakeholder can take all of this on themselves."

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