Since about half of today's smart-device owners require set-up assistance, tech support for smart homes is a big concern -- and opportunity -- for service providers.
In 2020, the US will see 13.5 million support requests derived from smart home devices and systems, compared with 11 million this year, according to "Tech Support: Influencing IoT Adoption."
Devices are getting more complex, using more sophisticated apps and increasingly integrated with other devices and smartphones, according to Parks Associates. That could mean more than half of consumers will seek post-sales support for deploying their new connected Internet of Things (IoT) device.
"Broadband providers have been interested in this space for a very long time. They had lots more connected devices coming into the home and people were calling the broadband provider for help," said Patrice Samuels, senior analyst at Parks Associates, in an interview. "And they're like, 'These are our customers. We have two options: We can turn them away and say, 'Okay, this is not really the umbrella of what we cover under our basic support,' or we can say, 'Hey we'll take care of that for you and charge you a premium or fees to take care of those issues for you.' So they've been dabbling in it for a long time."
Because it's an immature market subject to product failures today, most support is included in the device price, she said. However, some businesses have carved out a niche by providing fee-based set-up services, she said.
In addition to exploring ways to improve home Wi-Fi to eliminate connectivity-related calls, broadband providers also are exploring premium services for smart homes, said Samuels, whose clients include tech support companies hired by large manufacturers. In time, Samuels expects service providers to hire these firms to support their residential subscribers' smart home solutions.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
Key topics will include:
Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results