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Navigating the Future of the Connected Home – Latest Industry Insights

By Pete Koat on November, 22 2023

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The connected home landscape is evolving at an unprecedented rate, with consumers demanding more advanced services and higher speeds. To get a current perspective on plans and challenges for service providers, Incognito stepped up as a key sponsor of the 2023 Future of the Connected Home industry survey, developed by research agency Omdia in conjunction with Broadband Forum.

This year's survey includes responses from 111 service providers across twenty-four countries, complemented by in-depth interviews with executives from Latin America, North America, Europe, and Asia.

The 2023 research provided insight into several specific areas of interest:

Unlocking new revenue

With revenue generation key to business success, it's important to understand where to focus efforts. The survey helps by analyzing the following revenue streams:

Pay TV is still a big contributor: Despite the decline of traditional pay TV in some markets, it remains a significant revenue source. Broadband providers can offer value beyond the usual Smart TV apps by ensuring superior viewing quality and seamlessly integrating third-party video apps.

Speed alone won't drive revenue: The survey showed that despite a 500 percent increase in the speed offered over the past five years, there has been a reduction in ARPU (average revenue per user) of 30 percent. Speed alone does not equate to increased revenue.

The need for VAS (value-added services): Broadband value-added services, such as Wi-Fi management, troubleshooting, and parental controls, are now deemed fundamental by broadband providers. They present new opportunities for revenue but need ongoing refinement to stay relevant.

Incognito's role in unlocking revenue

  • Incognito's USP solution enables operators to build a competitive advantage and further monetize the connected home by rapidly launching app-based smart home services on residential gateways and set-top boxes.
  • Incognito offers ready-to-deploy services thanks to our partnerships with leading USP ecosystem vendors. Service providers can easily launch connected home services, such as Wi-Fi traffic prioritization, network security, and more, using Incognito's app catalog.

Improving the customer experience

In today's competitive environment, ensuring a stellar user experience is no longer optional — it's essential. The study highlights pivotal areas that can elevate the customer journey and foster lasting loyalty.

Customer demand for VAS: Features like Wi-Fi management, speed testing, and diagnostics have become fundamental components of the broadband experience that service providers must deliver.

These are used by subscribers for self-care and by operators who use them to maintain service quality by performing proactive diagnostics and analytics.

Speed testing: Providers are progressively integrating speed test tools into their consumer apps. This guarantees quality of experience and can potentially enhance their service level agreements.

Wi-Fi management and QoS: The ability to actively monitor and manage Wi-Fi performance is paramount to meet customer expectations for high-quality connectivity without interruptions.

Along with Wi-Fi management, quality of service (QoS) is increasingly crucial. As networks get congested with various devices and applications, providers need to ensure that critical services receive priority, delivering a consistent and high-quality experience to users.

Incognito's role in enhancing customer experience

  • Incognito DX enables Wi-Fi management with QoE home scoring and Wi-Fi optimization to avoid congestion/interference and proactively manage performance.
  • Incognito Self-care Widgets empower CSRs and subscribers to perform TR-143 speed tests – integrated into subscriber portals or applications.
  • Incognito's USP smart home platform facilitates Wi-Fi slicing on customer-premises equipment, ensuring stellar service performance and enhancing user experience.

The future of standards

As the connected home landscape progresses, so does the imperative for standardized frameworks and technologies. Delving into the next phase of connectivity, the survey also explores emerging standards shaping the future and driving seamless integrations.

Investment in USP: 85 percent of operators have stated they have already deployed the User Services Platform standard or planned to within the next 6-18 months – viewing it as a key tool for optimizing Wi-Fi and delivering new broadband value-added services.

Rise of open-source frameworks: There's a growing recognition in the industry of the importance of reducing CPE middleware platform fragmentation and the need to develop an open standard application platform.

Integrations to deliver VAS in the connected home: Deploying new connected home VAS often involves integrating different hardware, OSS (operations support systems) vendors, and third-party partners, which can be challenging.

Incognito's role in shaping the future of standards

  • Incognito is not only a leading innovator supporting the USP TR-369 standard but is also actively shaping its future. As a dedicated member of the Broadband Forum, Incognito contributes significantly to the TR-369 definition, highlighting our commitment to the future of broadband services and standards.
  • Incognito's solutions are primed for USP services, and its wide ecosystem of partners and the versatile app catalog makes integrations smoother.

As our sponsorship of this enlightening survey demonstrates, Incognito is always striving to stay on top of industry trends and stay ahead of customer needs, so we're ideally positioned to empower service providers to seize these emerging opportunities and deliver unparalleled customer experiences.

To read the full Incognito sponsored report developed with Omdia and the Broadband Forum – The Future of the Connected Home: The Rise of Home Applications – download it here.

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