The number of homes with managed Wi-Fi will reach 294 million in 2025 from 40 million in 2020, according to the report, Managed Home Wi-Fi Networks for the Smart Home 2020-2025, recently published by leading analyst firm Maravedis LLC. Managing the quality of the broadband experience in the home is a priority for most service providers, and Wi-Fi is the centerstage of that strategy. Quality of experience now goes beyond speeds to include lower latency required to support 4/8K, gaming, and VR applications. “Most operators are motivated by the reduction in opex and improvements of their NPS score, while a minority attempts to monetize managed Wi-Fi. As a result, managed Wi-Fi is a fast-growing market and will reach a 29% penetration of the total broadband lines in service by 2025,” said Adlane Fellah, author of the report and founder of Maravedis LLC.
Innovation for a more robust connected home Wi-Fi and IoT is ongoing at a furious pace. There are a number of initiatives to create a more agile CPE, one with an open-source, agnostic middleware between the cloud and the home devices. Despite these efforts and the popularity of EasyMesh, many service providers consider proprietary solutions as superior and will continue deploying these until standardized solutions gain momentum. Moreover, some large service providers with sufficient resources prefer to develop their gateways and software internally, rather than buy them from external vendors. This is a crowded and challenging market for solution vendors, and only a few will survive the long and tedious service provider sales cycle.
The report also looks at the issue of cybersecurity. Connected and IoT devices are built with no or poor security, giving intruders access to the home network. Our survey reveals that for 51% of operators, the top two priorities are: 1. protecting their network from new threats, and 2. protecting their network from abuse and unnecessary traffic (D/DoS, serving malvertising, serving spam). This comes ahead of protecting their customers from new threats and breaches of privacy.
Nevertheless, the majority of service providers are still at the early stage of any comprehensive cybersecurity offering, and 75% of them have not selected their home security platform provider yet. “Service providers will need to educate their subscribers about the benefits of protecting their connected home if they hope to monetize new services beyond parental control,” added Fellah.
Select highlights of the report:
• Wi-Fi slow speed is the number one reason triggering service calls (49%) followed closely by unstable Wi-Fi (23%).
• Fifty percent (50%) of service providers will deploy Wi-Fi 6 after 2020.
• Fifty-five percent (55%) of service providers want to support EasyMesh program.
• Thirty-six percent (36%) of service providers will not let third-parties develop software on top of their Home Wi-Fi Gateway.
• IoT interoperability issue was ranked the #1 challenge by 52% of service providers for implementing the connected home.
In this edition, we provide the highlights of a unique and extensive survey of service providers about their views of managed home Wi-Fi trends. The online survey took place during the September and October 2019 timeframe and gathered 218 responses, 42% of which were from service providers worldwide. We also provide detailed operator profiles from one-on-one briefings with both leading and regional operators in various countries.―CT Bureau