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TR-069’s Pivotal Role in IoT and the Smart Home

TR-069, the Broadband Forum standard which has already transformed the provision of communications services in the home, is set for a new era as an industry survey conducted by Ovum showed that service providers across the world are relying on its versatility and reliability to support them in delivering IoT and M2M services. The report came out as the Forum met for its quarterly meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and continued its new work around bringing practical deployment of virtualized solutions to the broadband network.

Ovum, the global technology research and advisory firm, expects the number of TR-069 enabled devices in use to pass 356 million by the end of next year and service providers highlighted it as a key weapon in their Smart Home strategy. These devices will include more features and interface types than those for communications and entertainment; and will be largely a retail market. In fact, the survey showed that the top companies viewed by those surveyed as being most influential in defining and enabling Smart Home services were Google, Apple, Samsung followed by the operators.

Meeting such demand was the top service provider management challenge of supporting smart home services in the report; – followed by supporting customer service, enabling customer self-installation, and provisioning of services.

“This survey was the most in-depth ever undertaken on the role and presence of TR-069 and it has clearly demonstrated not only its importance to today’s network but in fact that its future may well prove to be even more significant as the services in the home multiply and the network becomes more and more software driven,” said Broadband Forum CEO, Robin Mersh.

“We are totally committed to further development of the protocol to support service providers globally and to help them with the smooth integration of services made possible through the IoT and M2M environment.”

The effective delivery of the smart home is partially being made possible and coinciding with the development of SDN and NFV technologies.

At the Forum meeting in Portsmouth, appearing for the first time, was the Software Advisory Group (SAG) chaired by the Forum’s Software Architect William Lupton. This group will provide a centre of software expertise and will act as a “think tank” within the Forum as well as advising on engagements with external SDOs and Open Source (OS) organizations. It will also look at the processes needed to enable the Forum to work successfully as a software-focused organization – for example using new tools to allow creation, review, publication and updating of software deliverables and possibly open source code. In addition to the creation of SAG, Lupton is defining a methodology for communicating the Forum’s requirements and architectures and the role involves facilitating and enabling all the Broadband Forum’s software activities, with specific emphasis on TR-069, YANG data modelling for FTTdp, and SDN/NFV.

“Virtualization is creating a framework for a new broadband era, where broadband will be a hybrid ecosystem; migration-ready and handling both current static and new, programmable, virtualized networking and computing as the market evolves,” said Robin Mersh.

“Our vision is for ultra-fast technologies and software which can deliver new levels of performance and a broadband infrastructure which will be a platform for new high-value applications that will generate exciting opportunities for new business and consumer applications.

Ultra-fast is a must, the ability to be agile and responsive is vital and the result must be an innovative, integrated services platform which will provide enormous value for service providers worldwide.”

The meeting was sponsored by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) and QA Cafe, creators of the industry standard broadband device testing platform known as CDRouter. Members were given a guided tour of the UNH-IOL test facilities, where only the previous week a major plugfest on G.fast technology had been completed.

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