Smart homes:
An opportunity for operators to differentiate 

Market_trends

Smart homes:
An opportunity for operators to differentiate 

Market_trends

Smart home devices across categories of smart appliances, energy management, control and connectivity, entertainment, security and more, have found their place in homes all over the world. With as many as 22 connected devices per household¹, the smart home market is projected to be a $180 billion² industry and the number of smart homes expected to be over 478 million³ households by 2025.  

With home Wi-Fi being a driving force behind the seamless connectivity experience of most smart home devices, broadband operators are at a vantage point to develop and offer differentiated products and service portfolios. In its Smart Home Services Forecast Analysis: 2021-26⁴, analyst firm Omdia dissects the most relevant trends that will define the future of the smart home service market. The report shares how telcos are poised to strengthen their presence in the smart home market. Despite their relatively small participation currently (12.6% of the global smart home services revenue), telcos will streamline existing services and invest in new ones, either directly or via strategic partnerships. According to analysts at Omdia, this will allow them to reach $6.5 billion in revenue by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 18.8% in 2021-26.

Evolve with the times

However, for telcos and service providers, simply providing high speeds is not enough. It is ultimately the Quality of Experience that helps a provider emerge as a market leader. Omdia clearly establishes the relationship between home QoE and broadband as they believe consumers associate in-home bottlenecks and issues with service providers’ networks and will churn for a better experience. Innovation with home solutions such as smart Wi-Fi is key to guarantee a reliable and satisfactory experience. 

Among its key recommendations, the report suggests that telcos must explore the full scope of value-added services for the smart home. While security remains one of the main drivers for consumers to invest in smart home solutions, there are many more potential avenues for telcos – elderly smart care, for instance. Investment in technologies such as Wi-Fi Sensing will be crucial to unlock a new wave of services useful for customer retention and revenue generation. Telcos should also focus on making continual progress. As the smart home evolves, there are new devices and services that require attention, as well as a new interoperability protocol like Matter. It is imperative to develop a long-term smart home technology strategy and invest carefully.

Build on your consumers’ trust

With the comfort and convenience that the smart home provides, it also creates some frustrated customers. Managing smart home devices can be a pain point that requires regular technical support and can boost demand for premium services in that domain. According to an independent survey by Omdia, more than 40% of respondents prefer telecom operators for the delivery of premium technical support services rather than other types of providers such as device manufacturers or retailers. Operators should then take advantage of their well-respected reputation in this area to promote the delivery of affordable technical support services, including all types of devices, and not only smart solutions.

Navigating complexity and competition

Analysts underline that telcos must overcome the challenge of becoming a solution enabler, given the complexity of the smart home. There is also the threat of growing competition from large OTT players such as Amazon and Google and telcos must look for alternative ways to monetize the smart home. As Mariana Zamoszczyk Principal Analyst, Smart Home Services at Omdia, shares, “Configuring a new business mindset will be key for telcos to achieve better results in the smart home.” To succeed and maximize ROI, telcos must explore the full scope of value-added services for the smart home. Moreover, investment in emerging technologies such as Matter and Wi-Fi Sensing will be crucial to unlock a new wave of services useful for customer retention and revenue generation.

Powering smart homes with Smart Wi-Fi

In the evolving competitive landscape, Airties understands the need for broadband operators to deliver a high speed, low latency, and reliable Wi-Fi to end consumers. The Airties Smart Wi-Fi solutions portfolio helps deliver exactly that. With its advanced steering and channel management techniques, Smart Wi-Fi solution ensures the best possible wireless performance for the multitude of legacy and new wireless devices that compete for airtime. Airties’ advanced steering technologies maximize device connection speeds and home network capacity. Cloud-based channel planning offers significant improvements in airtime efficiency as it determines the optimal settings for each household based on usage patterns – critical to delivering a seamless Quality of Experience for smart home and other connected devices.

Built on a unique hybrid cloud-edge architecture, it is the most cost-effective and responsive way to scale any Wi-Fi deployment. The Airties Smart Wi-Fi solutions portfolio also allows operators the in-depth visibility for accurate customer diagnostics, troubleshooting and monitoring usage patterns for targeted and effective upselling.

¹ https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/press-releases/connectivity-and-mobile-trends.html
² https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/smart-home/worldwide
³ https://www.statista.com/forecasts/887613/number-of-smart-homes-in-the-smart-home-market-in-the-world
⁴ https://omdia.tech.informa.com/OM026260/Smart-Home-Services-Forecast-Analysis-2021–2026


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