Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Upside Demand for New Home Networking Applications

The adoption of more internet-connected devices within the home -- such as media tablets and smart TVs -- creates rapidly increasing broadband connectivity demand. As a result, worldwide home network penetration is expected to climb from 24.8 percent in 2013 to 33.2 percent by 2018, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

In particular, growth of home networking applications is driven by the continued spread of broadband services and demand for multi-screen video services.

What is seen as commonplace in mature markets, including server provided broadband routers with integrated Wi-Fi access points and leveraging fixed broadband connections to offload expensive mobile data packages while consuming large amounts of content, is slower to move to emerging markets.

In some cases, this is driven primarily by low service ARPU while in others it is simply limited fixed broadband infrastructure.

"Wi-Fi remains the most important networking technology, but despite an ever growing number of connected devices in consumer households, the demand for next generation wireless technologies will likely occur via normal upgrade cycles rather than technology driven purchases," said Michael Inouye, senior analyst at ABI Research.

Wired networking technologies continue to play an integral role in service provider deployments of whole home DVR installations and extending the network beyond the reach of the router or gateway.

Integration of “no new wires” networking technologies into consumer electronics (CE) devices has thus far been limited, but this is a necessary step to see wider adoption beyond the service provider network.

MoCA remains the most integrated wired networking technology, albeit still confined to the service provider market.

In this regard HomePlug has had more of an impact in the retail market, notably with highly integrated hybrid products such as wireless range extenders.

While standards based hybrid solutions like nVoy are still relatively new, this market could grow significantly -- particularly if companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Apple continue to invest in original programming and launch premium video services.

With the launch of new premium video services these companies could look to hybrid networking solutions to offer consumers the most flexible and robust solution available -- by embracing other technologies companies could also open the door to evolving offerings, such as Smart Home applications.