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.
During prepared comments to a conservative group in Maine, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai outlined his concerns with several states' independent moves to reinstate the 2015 laws governing the Internet.
Under a partnership announced today, Deutsche Telekom and United Smart Cities will help metro leaders with smart-city projects, ultimately leading to integrated solutions and a shareable database equipped with analytics tools for deep dives.
The MSO has pivoted from being a traditional cable operator into a connectivity provider, said Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York this week.
AT&T is closer to deploying AirGig, following successful trials, and now seeks vendor partners to work on technologies that it believes will bring broadband closer to rural customers across power lines.
Fast, reliable broadband is essential to how we live, work and play today – and the upcoming arrival of 5G will only further increase demand and reliance on fiber infrastructure. Already viewed by consumers as intolerable, delays, outages or the regular maintenance difficulties associated with operating a network will become further exacerbated when residential subscribers further rely on connected devices for day-to-day life. Just as providers deploy network automation tools to reduce operational issues, they must take similar care to manage consumer expectations when they roll out fiber or new services. This webinar features leaders who will discuss how to manage marketing and consumer expectations at every stage of the network lifecycle. Marketing professionals, c-level executives and policymakers interested in drumming up fiber envy should attend.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.