Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Services and Apps Designed for Residential Gateways

Infonetics Research released excerpts from its latest market study of broadband service provider Residential Gateways. These are the broadband network access devices that are provided by the operator and installed in the service subscriber's home.

Their insightful report delves into the service provider strategies for deploying and pricing residential gateways, the applications driving their deployments -- and their top picks for residential gateway vendors, services, technologies, and associated features.

"With residential gateway revenue dropping because of price declines and a saturated broadband subscriber base, operators are looking to new services to increase revenue per subscriber," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research.

Based upon recent interviews with network operators around the world, it is clear that they see their broadband access lines (be they DSL, cable, or FTTH) as a conduit for new revenue-generating services.

They also look forward to an upside opportunity that's far beyond the more typical voice, data, and broadcast video services and applications (Apps).

The fastest growing new services that operators plan to offer over residential gateways are home automation, home security, and multi-screen video (wireless distribution of video to set-top boxes, PCs, media tablets, and mobile phones in the home) -- but there are many others gaining popularity, including online gaming and video telephony.

According to the Infonetics market assessment, 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.

In essence, residential gateways are becoming the gatekeeper for new, high-margin, revenue-generating traffic for these operators across the globe.

Highlights from the residential gateway study include:
  • The percentage of operators offering IPTV services using a residential gateway increases from 88 percent now to 100 percent by 2013.
  • The number of operators offering WiFi hotspot access using a residential gateway grows to 82 percent by 2013.
  • The most critical residential gateway features are those that help operators deliver video and ensure video quality, including IGMP, TR-069 management, and IPv6.
  • Service providers are reluctant to offer integrated ONTs and residential gateways.
  • In an open-ended question asking operators who they consider to be the top 3 residential gateway vendors, operators most often named Huawei, Pace, and ZTE.