Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Residential Broadband Intelligent Gateways

Just a few years ago, broadband service providers drew a very clear line defining their responsibility once they connected a residence to their communication network. Typically, they refused to support the in-home network, especially the electronic devices that consumers use.

However, this trend has since changed in the face of fierce competition and in a market where people are looking to connect multiple devices to their home network for rich media distribution around the home.

A recent ABI Research study focused on the residential broadband market forecasts intelligent broadband gateways to produce double-digit annual growth results over the six-year forecast period ending in 2013.

ABI Research industry analyst Serene Fong notes that, "Intelligent broadband gateways will gain popularity and account for more than 40 percent of home networking CPE shipments by 2012."

Basic equipment with limited intelligence and management capabilities currently dominates more than half of the market, but it will soon be phased out as full-fledged intelligent multimedia boxes with high throughput take over.

Broadband households have a much higher propensity to adopt home networks, and the number of households with data networking and gateway solutions will continue to grow. However, a key hurdle that gateway vendors must actively seek to overcome in its development is price.

Home gateways generally cost more upfront compared to available alternatives, which puts them at an obvious disadvantage in any price-sensitive market. Additionally, gateway equipment is usually purchased separately or as a hardware upgrade.

Nevertheless, if it is of any consolation to vendors, future gateway solution deployments are expected to be catalyzed largely by service providers.