The Internet of Things (IoT) market is surging, driven by fast-growing demand for smart home devices. According to IDC, 433.1 million smart home devices shipped worldwide in 2017, up 27.6 percent from 2016. Smart home device revenue is growing, too: Statista projects that average per-device revenue will show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9 percent in the US market between 2018 and 2022.
Service providers are well positioned to use their networks to capitalize on this growth. But they need to contend with some significant challenges. For example, consumers frequently have trouble setting up and managing their smart home devices. Many turn to their service providers for help. For service providers, this means higher call volumes, increased costs, and more risk to customer satisfaction.
The rise of IoT-specific protocols brings more complexity into the smart home. Most of today’s smart home devices use Wi-Fi to connect to the network. But this is changing as device makers embrace protocols such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Zigbee, and Z-Wave. Consumers want to be able to choose devices that use these protocols without having to buy more equipment or figure out how to make all their devices work together.
We’ve published a new white paper that describes how service providers can remove complexity and cost from the smart home experience by offering premium service delivery platforms that integrate the latest Wi-Fi capabilities with support for Zigbee, Z-Wave, and BLE. By combining cutting-edge Wi-Fi with universal support for the most widely deployed IoT protocols, service providers can enable consumers to use one platform for all their smart home devices.
With universal IoT-capable platforms, service providers can give consumers the freedom to choose any device without worrying about whether or how it will work in their smart home environment. They can also eliminate the need for consumers to buy multiple hubs and bridges that are often required to support devices that use different protocols. The result will be the simple, seamless and economical smart home experience that consumers expect.
Of course, smart home consumers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from universal IoT capabilities. Offering a platform that seamlessly supports all major smart home protocols will enable service providers to:
- Generate more revenue: The platform will attract consumers looking to reduce complexity and avoid the cost of extra hubs and bridges. Once installed, it will give service providers a new avenue for offering value-added services.
- Reduce support costs: The platform will lower support call volumes by giving consumers fewer devices and technologies to juggle. It will also simplify support processes and create opportunities to offer self-care options.
- Increase customer satisfaction: The platform will enable consumers to enjoy a seamless smart home experience, greater freedom of choice and simpler help desk interactions – all of which will make them more likely to remain loyal.
- Capture a more central role in the smart home: The platform will enable service providers to differentiate their offers and put their brand at the center of the smart home. From there, it will be simpler to expand their reach or take advantage of emerging smart home technologies.
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