Report: WiFi main US access technology

According to research firm Parks Associates, more than 60 per cent of US broadband households with a networking router received that device from their broadband service provider. The findings are part of a new whitepaper, Staking a Claim in the Connected Home: Service Provider Solutions, sponsored by Calix, which addresses operator strategies to enhance this equipment and expand their footprint in the home, creating new revenue opportunities and securing their role as key players in the connected home.

“Operators have an established claim in the connected home by virtue of their existing customer relationships, but they are competing with many new products that promise improved Wi-Fi, smart home and voice controls, and enhanced data privacy and security. US broadband households now have an average of 9.1 connected devices,” said Brad Russell, Research Director, Connected Home, Parks Associates. “Providers can integrate these and other features into the equipment (CPE) they are deploying into subscribers’ homes, consolidating multiple home services under unified support and premium WiFi coverage.”

The whitepaper examines new approaches to optimise operator-grade CPE solutions, including support for all connected devices in the home, services to address consumer network troubles and privacy concerns, and new ways operators can support, manage, and monetise connected homes.

“One of the challenges around the Internet of Things and the connected home is that while consumers expect simplified user experiences, the reality is often far removed,” said Pam Ferguson, AVP of Product Marketing for Cloud and Premises at Calix. “This paper highlights research from Parks Associates that indicates that nearly one-half of smart home device owners experience technical issues. Further, thirteen per cent of consumers contact their service provider for help resolving smart home device problems, regardless of where the setup problems arise.”

Additional findings:

  • 76 per cent of North American broadband households use WiFi as their primary connected technology.
  • Currently 26 per cent of US broadband households own at least one smart home device, and annual sales of all connected home devices will increase to 442 million units by 2020.
  • In the past year, 37 per cent of US broadband households report that their WiFi network seems slow.

“If operators want to compete effectively in the connected home, they will need to add value through premium CPE and a quality consumer experience,” Russell said. “They already shoulder the blame when things go wrong with WiFi and the network, so they cannot continue to cede ground to new devices while their own services become commoditised.”

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