|Europe's leading residential technology trade magazine||Subscribe|
Whitepaper: Broadband Forum Value Proposition for Connected Home (6/6/2012)
By Alex Fedosseev and Gabriel Panis, The Broadband Forum
The purpose of this white paper (MR-239) is to outline the emerging Connected Home market and the value proposition of Broadband Forum (BBF) for Service Providers and consumers.
MR-239 describes the Connected Home today and where it is evolving:
- the state of the market,
1. The Connected Home
In the last few years, traditional triple-play services have been commoditized and this resulted in significant revenue reduction for Service Providers, triggering a search to replace the lost revenue.
The Connected Home space is quickly becoming a major opportunity and turning into the focal point of Service Providers' interest to offer additional revenue-generating value-added services to consumers.
The Connected Home typically includes the following components:
- A managed residential gateway inside the home.
Connected Home Services are usually described as web-based cloud services that provide consumer applications, delivered over a broadband Internet connection, to various in-home devices. These services provide comfort, security, convenience, entertainment, healthcare and other services with overall awareness to consumers. The Connected Home Services are accessible through multiple user-friendly interfaces including mobile phones, Web browsers, tablets, and TVs. Examples of such services include Energy Management, Home Control, Home Monitoring, Home Security and Home Health.
2. Service Provider View
The Service Provider provides the end user with a connection to the Internet. The Service Provider deploys a residential gateway - a central, always-on, always-connected device and always available.
Figure 1 shows the Connected Home composed of devices which connect the home network utilising various technologies such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, powerline, HPNA, Z-Wave, Zigbee and DECT. The need for more bandwidth, interoperability, and Quality of Service (QoS) is driving the use of emerging technologies such as MoCA and G.hn.
Device trends such as set-top boxes and video displays are leading the increase of Internet connectivity and demand for bandwidth needed for HD and 3D.
New Internet-based services, remote access of devices, home health, monitoring and energy services, will pass through the Service Provider's residential gateway (RG). The position of the RG provides the Service Provider a point where services may be deployed, rather than being a mere bridge. This point can also be used for media servers, home management and support, and allows the Service Provider to further take advantage of the new service opportunities.
As the Connected Home increases complexity, Service Provider supported remote management of the Residential Gateway and home network devices will enable the seamless integration of Connected Home services for customers. The Service Provider will support remote management through to a broadband network via management servers.
Figure 1 represents the structure and relations between devices, services and networks at the high level.
3. Market size for Connected Home Services
There is a significant global market opportunity for Connected Home services, illustrated in Figure 2 with projections using Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR):
Home Control/Home Monitoring:
- Frost & Sullivan estimates that the North American Home Automation Market will reach $2,442M by 2012.
- Parks Associates estimates that the total market for Digital Home health services in U.S. alone is expected to grow to $5.7B in 2015, , which represents a five-year CAGR of 28%. Total users that will benefit from digital health solutions will increase to 26 million, a significant jump from an estimated 3.8 million in 2010.
- According to ABI Research, the World Market forecast for Smart Grid spending will top $45B by 2015.
- According to Ramp Rate Media management market is $22.3B yearly with a CAGR 23.1%.
Many market researches indicate that consumers are interested in the majority of use cases/scenarios that can be offered via Connected Home services, as shown in Figure 3 below, by API Research.
Three important trends have come together, making Connected Home Services a logical evolution of the consumer portfolio for Service Providers:
- Ongoing improvements in installation process and overall usability
4. Value Proposition to Service Providers
The Connected Home has all the prerequisites to becoming an emerging technology for mass deployment in the immediate future. It is present on many Service Providers' roadmaps and many programmes are underway to meet this target. The value proposition for Service Providers includes, but is not limited to:
- Revenue from providing more managed services.
In addition to new revenue streams, Connected Home services are very 'sticky' and help to increase consumer loyalty while decreasing subscriber churn.
5. Value Proposition to Consumer
In the last decade some of the Connected-Home-related applications, such as home automation, were introduced to the market, mostly by integrators to fairly narrow segments of the market, and the overall results were mixed. In particular, the user experience was not simple - most of the deployments were done via highly-customised, expensive professional installation, and overall volume of deployed services was quite low.
As underlying the Connected Home technologies mature and the cost of devices goes down, there is growing momentum to expand such applications and take them to the next level, in particular, build missing higher-level standards and therefore propose much stronger value to the consumer. The value proposition to the consumer includes, but is not limited to:
- Variety of services for the Connected Home with a rich set of functionalities.
6. Managed Services
6.1 Home Energy Service
The rollout of smart meters around the world is depicted in Figure 4. This rollout introduces a new opportunity for the broadband industry to integrate Smart Grid and the Connected Home into one unified system for the consumer's benefit.
This can be accomplished via introducing consumer-facing energy management service that allows consumers to monitor and analyse energy consumption readings from a Smart Meter (both utility and retail provided) as well as individual energy modules. It optimises energy usage using device management, a recommendations engine, notifications, tracking historical trends and overall awareness.
The ultimate value comes from the combination of energy management and home control services that allows full management: proactive energy use suggestions, automation; integration with smart meters for demand-respond management either driven by utilities or consumer. The energy management service provides the consumer a reduced energy expense.
There are multiple ways to deliver notifications and alerts to the user upon such events that include email, Short Message Service (SMS) to one or more mobile phones and Instant Messaging. Notifications include the information about the event, link to the user interface and other customisable information, so the user is always promptly and comprehensively informed about what is happening while being away.
Home Energy Service key values:
- Remote Internet servers connect via broadband-enabled residential gateways to Smart Meters (both utilities provided and personal all-home energy readers), providing the consumer with home energy consumption at three levels, namely awareness, monitoring and management.
6.2 Home Security Service
Home security service allows consumers to monitor the security of their homes locally and via Internet-powered remote services. Services that provide access to the alarm panel and associated sensors installed throughout the home, arm and disarm the system both manually and based on the schedule, receive notifications and alerts, integrate with other home monitoring and home control devices.
The home security service monitors various sensors such as motion sensing, flood, smoke, gas, and entry detecting etc. These activities may be used by a support organisation to monitor and alert the consumer.
6.3 Home Monitoring Service
Home monitoring service provided over a broadband connection allows consumers to monitor and manage IP cameras, giving them full control of the videos - they can stream live video, record it to local and remote storage, manage camera streaming options, share IP cameras and recordings.
This service can be provided to the consumer while at home or from a remote location. The home monitoring service powered by the residential gateway connecting to the IP cameras streaming video to remote Internet servers allow functions such as playback, searching, tagging, motion sensed recording and saving recordings to the server.
Additionally the consumer may schedule recordings, receive notifications about events, manage various conditions such as 'Home', 'Away' etc. This service gives the end-user the ability to feel secure about their home when they are on vacation, at work, or anywhere else.
6.4 Home Control Service
Home control service allows consumers to control lights, appliances, HVAC systems and thermostats, motion detectors, access contacts (such as door and window sensors), powered shades and blinds, door locks, lights, appliances, thermostats, and a range of other home devices compatible with a variety of supported standards that are not interoperable. Home automation controls were once limited to at-home use and the high end of the market. The next-generation home automation is powered by a broadband-based service that allows home automation to enter the mainstream market and to be used both at home and on the go.
Home control services allow the user to customise their home automation by creating scenes (controlling many devices). Home Control services may use event-based and timer-based services to invoke control actions on multiple devices such as turning off power, adjusting lighting, run scenes based on time of day, motion detection and other events.
6.5 Media Management Service
The media management service allows consumers to organise access locally and over the broadband connection, manage, playback, backup and share various types of media files through DLNA and other rendering services over multi-displays in a seamless and friendly way within their Connected Home experience.
6.6 Home Health Service
Home health, also referred as TeleHealth, is a fast-emerging market that allows patients to remain home, and where patients and clinicians work together to achieve best outcomes. The patient may be viewed remotely over a broadband connection by a physician or a family member. The service will allow tracking of health status as well as enabling social networking and the ability to setup individual preferences for a variety of managed devices. An example of a Home Health user interface is depicted in Figure 5.
Home health service key values include:
- Independent living; remote support for elderly people.
- Wellness monitoring; health condition tracking and consumer interface.
7. Managed Devices
Managed services typically require managed devices that are installed at the customer premises and operate as essential service enablers. Manageability of such devices is critical for provisioning, lowering TCO, and efficient problem resolution, including proactive approach. Managed services are critical to an enhanced consumer experience and improved perception of Connected Home services.
Broadband Service Providers provide a unique central point for managing all devices within the home, in order to troubleshoot problems that may be connectivity- or multiple-device-related. Management through the Broadband Forum's CWMP protocol (TR-069 ) provides a secure connection based on web services to managed devices.
Remote management provides an instant, deterministic value-added service to access devices to provide provisioning, reboot, reset, upgrade, monitoring, statistics collection, and configuration without human intervention.
All devices that are associated with a service would benefit from a remote management service. Broadband residential gateways can be enabled to support management extensions to non-IP devices.
To provide an easy consumer installation, managed devices usually come in a starter kit to provide seamless installation and user guide to the devices:
- Basic starter kit makes service installation quick and user-friendly.
8. Broadband Forum Work
The Broadband Forum has developed many fundamental standards for end-to-end management.
Broadband Forum's CPE WAN Management Protocol (CWMP), more commonly referred to as TR-069, is the main management tool behind the enabling of new services and remote management of CPE including residential gateways and other Connected Home devices.
Recent updates in remote management through CWMP provide an essential building block for launching new services with the software modular management capability. This capability provides a mechanism for Service Providers to download new services on existing and new managed devices.
In addition to TR-069 the Broadband Forum released the following:
ACS Northbound Interface Requirements:
Deployment of new value-added services implies integration with other Service Provider-hosted systems. Covers high-level requirements for northbound integration with OSS/Order. Management Systems (OMS)/Customer Relationships Management (CRM) Systems.
Currently there are multiple projects in progress that are intended to expand support for the value proposition for the Connected Home. They include the following:
TR-069 protocol updates:
Management of non-TR-069 devices is work in progress to ensure the concept of TR-069 management beyond the CPE that allows a proxy-style management of IP and non-IP non-TR-069 devices residing at the customer premises has a complete solution set. Future extensions for managing a variety of interfaces and new devices found in the Connected Home.
MR-204, Energy Efficiency, Dematerialization And The Role Of The Broadband Forum:
This white paper established the Broadband Forum's role in energy efficiency and energy reduction for the Connected Home. In particular, MR-204  covers remote management of CPE and devices in the home, outlines cascaded energy management via new proxy management capabilities and describes new works to transition the behaviour of broadband from 'always on' to 'always available.'
In order to deploy value-added services for the fast-emerging Connected Home market in an efficient and profitable way, it is imperative to have both services themselves and associated devices managed in a standards-based way. To protect the customer's privacy, permission may be required when subscribing to Connected Home services. Management access to the services and devices for providers and application access for consumers must be clearly demarcated.
The Broadband Forum has already created the foundation for such deployments via its world-leading TR-069 standard/CWMP protocol and TR-106  based data models and is actively pursuing new extensions of these standards for the Connected Home market and opportunities.
The combination of the CWMP family of standards mentioned in this document brings even more value than each of them individually. For example, combination of proxy-management and software management brings the complete solution for enabling and managing new services that involve installation of the starter kit at the customer premises.
The Broadband Forum works in close cooperation with Service Providers and hardware, software, and core technology vendors to ensure timely releases of such standards for the benefit of its members.
The following references are of relevance to this report. At the time of publication, the editions indicated were valid. All references are subject to revision; users of this report are therefore encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent edition of the references listed below. A list of currently valid Broadband Forum Marketing and Technical Reports is published at www.broadband-forum.org
 MR-204 Energy Efficiency, Dematerialization and the role of Broadband Forum, Broadband Forum 2009
 TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol, Broadband Forum 2010
 TR-106 Data Model Template for TR-069- Enabled Devices, Broadband Forum 2010
 Series Y, Supplement 8, Supplement on global ICT fora/consortia survey, ITU-T 2010
Gabriel Panis is a Systems and Network Architect at CYTA. Alex Fedosseev is Director of Product Management at Motorola Mobility. Both are Co-Editors of the Broadband Forum Marketing Report. The Broadband Forum is a non-profit corporation organised to create guidelines for broadband network system development and deployment. It is the leading industry organisation developing standards for managing broadband services and associated devices.
| newsfeeds | subscribe
to newsletter | submit
a link |