The key weapon a service provider has to increase the amount of money subscribers spend on broadband services can be found right at the residential gateway, indicates a new Infonetics study.
Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research, said that service providers are looking at the broadband connection "as a conduit for new revenue-generating services, far beyond today's voice, data, and broadcast video services."
Over the broadband gateway, service providers could deliver a mix of everything from home automation, home security, and multiscreen video (wireless distribution of video to set-top boxes, PCs, tablets, and mobile phones in the home) in addition to online gaming and telepresence services.
"Residential gateways are a better fit than basic modems for these types of services because they can be remotely managed and provisioned, have an open application layer to add and customize new features, and offer higher throughput and greater security features," Heynen said. "In essence, residential gateways are becoming the gatekeeper for new, high-margin, revenue-generating traffic for operators."
Remote management of these devices to troubleshoot issues, especially with video via the TR-69 standard and IGMP support to help ensure video quality has become a table stakes requirement for service providers. Residential gateway vendors are also stepping up their support for the IPv6 protocol as more websites become IPv6-enabled.
However, service providers continue to debate the merits of having integrated Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) and residential gateways for Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) deployments.
While new services like home automation are gaining momentum as seen by recent moves by AT&T (NYSE: T), Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), today the two dominant services enabled from the home gateway include IPTV and WiFi hot spot access.
By 2013, the amount of service providers offering IPTV services via a residential gateway will rise from 88 percent to 100 percent, and service providers offering WiFi hotspot access using a residential gateway will grow to 82 percent by 2013.
- see the release
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