Service providers' best new customers could come from the cord-cutting, mobile-fixated millennials who often resist traditional residential bundles, marketing promotions and product offers.
Unsurprisingly, millennials are the heaviest adopters of smart home products: 64% of people ages 25 to 34 own at least one smart home technology, according to a recent report from GfK Research.
Yet almost 70% of millennials incorrectly believe all Internet of Things devices -- their thermostats, light bulbs, doorbells and refrigerators -- work together, regardless of vendor, operating system or communications protocol, the GfK report found. And that, of course, is where service providers come in.
A growing number -- from large providers such as BT, Deutsche Telekom and Ting -- to regional operators like ITS Telecom and Comporium -- offer whole home solutions. Often designed to deliver all-encompassing WiFi platforms with portals that obviate the need for devices to interact with each other, these solutions can (with user permission) also allow operators to provide remote diagnosis, maintenance and repair.
"If smart home devices can continue to make strides in better cross-brand and cross-product connectivity, the standardized communication and teamwork stand to provide all manufacturers and service providers an upside potential -- and younger consumers will likely get on board," said Tom Neri, commercial director for Tech & Durables at GfK, in a statement.
Currently, 27% of US consumers own more than three smart home devices; 7% own three or more, the survey of 1,000 US residents found. Overall, 58% of respondents said this technology is likely to change their lives in the next few years. Among millennials, 68% agreed with that statement; a smaller group -- 57% -- of people aged 18 to 24 concurred, GfK found.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter @BroadbandWN or @alisoncdiana.