Table of Contents
The connected home experience is becoming real for many consumers. Under the auspices of such
operator offerings as AT&T U-verse, Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS, consumers can now
sample home telemetry, multi-room content distribution and management; as well as access many of
the home telemetric and content services remotely. Do these various aspects of connectedness work
well together? No, but the potential remains to make them work well. Do consumers want such
connected service offerings? Yes.
Nevertheless, much work remains: home telemetry doesn’t necessarily operate with other connected
home functions. Home security and utility management are, more often than not, stand-alone
offerings that live, if however so uneasily, with content delivery and other communication services.
Consumers are beginning to not only identify the virtues of having a well integrated communications
and computing environment in the home; they are also quickly identifying the gaps in the offerings
they do have access to.
In particular, home infrastructure is problematic. Complex services depend on complex home
networks; yet, the state of home networking is fairly primitive. Operators have not yet stepped up to
pervasive support services; and this failure to be more than an access provider will ultimately limit
the market for advanced service offerings, as well as limiting the potential for operator revenue.
Nevertheless, there are hopeful signs. Many operators are exploring home networking support; and
most of the major players acknowledge the need to develop and provide total connected home
Perhaps a more important development in the connected home space is the shift in consumer
preferences from the traditional quad play (voice, video, Internet access, and wireless) to a new
access-service package based on broadband access and over the top (OTT) services. A rising
acceptance of broadband service delivery makes the ultimate integration of all services easier, and
the value to the consumer greater. Although consumers are just now making the connection
between quality of experience and broadband data rates, there is some indication in the annual
Connected Home Consumer Preferences survey that this is happening.
The connected home, like any developing market, is evolving in ways that are not necessarily
predictable from a purely technology centric perspective. Connectedness, after all, is a very personal
dynamic, driven by consumer needs and perceptions. This year’s survey discloses that the connected
home will likely become a way to enable content management more than it will be an extension of
the old “smart” home concept, based on home utility management. Yet, there will be a certain
amount of such management in the connected home that ultimately manifests as a consolidated
service offering from the network operators or other interested service providers.
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