Also in today's roundup of fixed-access broadband news, UK FTTH availability surges, Africa's pay-TV subs to increase (although revenue won't keep pace), Amazon investment fund pours into Sweepr, Sunrise names new CFO while Russia's Akado Telecom gets new CEO, plus more.
2020's Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off this week, features plenty of smart-home technologies doubtlessly headed for service providers' broadband networks. These include the Lumi by Pampers Connected Baby Care System, which combines a smart HD video monitor and activity sensor with an app (pictured on home page.) Also on display, a "whole-home smart water ecosystem" from Moen, which includes voice-activated, app-based technologies to control kitchen and bath fixtures and a home-water monitoring security system, according to the vendor. Moen's WiFi- and cloud-based digital shower offers mobile connectivity and up to 12 customized pre-sets so consumers can control their shower with the in-unit controller, smartphone app or voice (via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant).
Protecting From the Drip, Drip, Drip of Water Damage
At CES, Moen and Flo Technologies launched "Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector," a connected solution designed to reduce the risk of water damage, creating another use case for operators offering smart home solutions, managed WiFi and high-speed broadband. (Photo: Business Wire)
About 3 million UK homes, representing 10% of the population, can connect via full-fiber for speeds up to 1 Gbps according to a late-December
Ofcom report. That's a dramatic increase from 2018, when 6% (1.6 million premises) had that capability, the UK regulator said. About 53%, around the same number as the prior year, can get ultrafast broadband using any combination of fiber and cable (HFC and DOCSIS), with download speeds of at least 300 Mbps, Ofcom found.
Africa's pay-TV subscriber base will reach 47.26 million by 2025 from 30.7 million at year-end 2019, according to Digital TV Research. Nigeria will lead the way, at 10 million subs by 2025, overtaking South Africa by the end of this year, the research firm said. Between 2019 and 2025, African subscriber numbers will grow 54%, although pay-TV revenue will increase only 31% due to drops in price and ARPU; revenue will reach $7.2 billion by 2025, growth of $1.92 billion from 2019, Digital TV Research determined.
Automating Subscriber Service With an App
With $9 million from investors, including an undisclosed amount from Amazon, Irish startup Sweepr expects to increase its reach and capabilities, attracting more service providers looking to enhance subscriber service and reduce smart-home support costs. (Photo source: Sweepr)
Uwe Schiller was today named the new CFO of Sunrise, following last week's appointment of former CFO André Krause as CEO. As BBWN reported last week, Krause replaced Olaf Swantee, who resigned. Schiller is currently SVP finance and investor relations at Sunrise.
Grigoriy Novitskiy was named CEO of fixed-broadband operator Akado Telecom in December, according to media accounts. He replaces Sergey Nazaro; no reason was publicly given for the change in leadership. Novitsky, who already was a board member, signed a 2-billion-ruble loan ($32.3 million) at year-end, according to December 2019 board-meeting minutes.
SVoD services represent 65.9% of the UK entertainment industry, according to the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE). The home entertainment sector grew 9.5% in the UK last year to £2.6 billion ($3.4 billion), BASE said.
Speaking of SVoD, more than 70% of US broadband households now own at least one streaming entertainment product and half own a smart TV, according to new research from Parks Associates. Also, 77% of smart-TVs in these households connect to the Internet, up from 62% in 2014, the researcher found.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
The lack of an accurate broadband map means states and counties are tackling this issue themselves – and sometimes finding big disparities in the data – before spending their residents' money on deploying infrastructure.
Next year many operators must decide whether to invest more in HFC or go all-in to fiber, pick their PON and choose their managed-WiFi path, writes analyst Dan Grossman, who also recommends providers bundle managed WiFi and analytics to best serve residential subscribers -- and operators' own businesses.
Public-private partnerships, investor interest, self-help in rural areas and incumbents' return set the scene for a busy year of broadband deployment in the US countryside in 2020, writes Analyst Dan Grossman.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
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.