As I highlighted in our previous blog, The Potential of the In-Home Network, the Broadband Service providers are continually looking for ways to become more relevant to their end-users. The most obvious way to do that is to improve the overall customer experience, offering more than the traditional offerings of Internet access and TV packages.
Today many Service Providers offer rather limited types of services to their subscribers. This mostly means security software (anti-virus, anti-phishing, ransomware protection, etc) and parental control. Some Service Providers, that see these kinds of services as a means to improve the overall customer experience, are looking at expanding these basic services offerings to include protection for IoT devices in the home, smart home applications, Wi-Fi diagnostics plus management and video centric applications. Other more technical services they are considering may include cloud storage, VPN’s, cloud-based servers (VPS’s) and others. In fact, the scope for innovation and creativity is huge and need only be bounded by one’s imagination and the ability to deliver.
The overall market opportunity is enormous – as we mentioned in the previous blog, the cloud-based services market is estimated to be over $221B for this year and it is only growing.
We have yet to reach the point of having a consistent way of offering end-user services. Some companies offer some of the services over-the-top (via dedicated web pages), others offer commercial bundles where the customers are required to install the services on their computers or smartphones and others require dedicated hardware controllers that we plug in to our home network.
So why should the Service Provider be well positioned to capture a large piece of this market?
We believe that the answer lies with the good old home router: a powerful yet frequently hugely under-utilized box we already have in our homes and offices. Uniquely among all of the devices we already have in our homes, the routers are always there, always on, already managed by the Service Provider, they are field upgradeable and have visibility to all traffic coming in/out of our homes.
In the coming blogs we will look at ways in which Service Providers can leverage these aspects of the routers in order to build up an end-user service portfolio that is quick to deploy, extensible and easy to maintain, allowing them to offer a Supermarket of Services to their subscribers.