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October 8, 2018 by Pam Ferguson

How can Service Providers Capitalize on the Popularity of Cloud-based Voice Services, like Amazon Alexa?

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Ever since Apple introduced Siri back in October of 2011, cloud-based voice services have captured the attention of the market in a big way. Most of the tech giants—Google, Amazon, Apple—now offer their own increasingly sophisticated products on a wide range of devices. These include smart speakers and mobile phones, but also a rapidly-growing list of other smart devices. Amazon Alexa, for example, is included in all of its Echo products, but it’s also embedded in light switches, lamps, cars, smart watches, headphones, smart thermostats, and many others.

Not surprisingly, the market is growing rapidly and consumer adoption of devices featuring voice services are skyrocketing.  According to Research and Markets, the smart speaker market reached a value of nearly U.S. $1.7 billion in 2017 and is projected to exceed U.S. $9 billion by 2023. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32 percent during that period. And in terms of adoption, the number of smart speakers in use worldwide will approach 100 million by the end of 2018 and that is expected to more than double by 2020.

The benefits to cloud-based voice services manufacturers and consumers of these trends are clear. But what about service providers? What impact will the rise of cloud-based voice services have on the way they do business and on their long-term profitability? And what steps can they take to ensure they capitalize on this opportunity?

In a newly published Calix white paper, we look at the implications of this transformative technology for service providers, including the potential competitive threat that devices with cloud-based voice services, such as smart speakers, pose to service providers as they look to fortify their position in the smart home. And we examine how service providers can leverage cloud-based voice services to enhance their competitiveness and provide a better quality of experience to their subscribers.

One possibility explored in the white paper is the idea of fully integrating cloud-based voice services, such as Amazon Alexa, into a premium residential Wi-Fi gateway. This would enable service providers to offer their subscribers all the standard features and capabilities of Alexa. More importantly, it would give subscribers the ability to use simple voice commands to access detailed information about their networks and perform specific tasks to improve their quality of experience. For example, they could ask Alexa to send them the SSID and Wi-Fi password for their network, find out which users are currently connected to the network, and which applications are using the most bandwidth.

There are a whole host of benefits to this approach for service providers, including improved brand visibility, reduced costs and the opportunity to create differentiation with enhanced smart home service offerings. To learn more, download your free copy of the new white paper — Future residential gateways will take voice assistant functionality to the next level — today.