Smart Home Security & the Next Gen of Home Networking

Dealers now have the opportunity to take control of the WiFi network, with mesh WiFi solutions designed to support the needs of the security professional.

WiFi is ubiquitous in U.S. Internet households, and consumers rely now more than ever on reliable, high-performing connectivity at home. However, consumers continue to experience problems with range issues and loss of connectivity.

At the same time, security dealers are increasingly integrating WiFi devices into security systems, responding to growing consumer demand for video doorbells, network cameras and many other WiFi smart home devices. Yet, dealers are not in full, end-to-end control of system performance, as they are with security and life-safety sensors and Z-Wave devices.

Increased bandwidth usage, growth in the number of concurrent device connections, and the need to access the Internet in more areas of the home are driving Internet service providers and router manufacturers to offer WiFi 6 equipment.

WiFi 6 offers various benefits such as supporting more connected devices, providing greater speeds, minimizing congestion and lowering energy consumption. WiFi 6, 6E and mesh products are capable of supporting up to 200 connected devices. Additionally, WiFi 6 offers theoretical maximum speeds more than twice that of the previous generation.

WiFi 6 routers have more built-in antennas and can communicate with more devices at once. They can also schedule data transmission with different devices to help minimize congestion. Further, WiFi 6 devices can allow the WiFi to go to sleep at scheduled times, saving on battery consumption. This is a major benefit for battery-powered smart home devices and security sensors.

With the ongoing silicon shortage and supply chain constraints, chip makers have focused on making higher margin WiFi 6 chipsets available and either reduced capacity of WiFi 5 production lines or retired WiFi 5 production entirely.

In 2022, Comcast, Netgear, ASUS, Amazon, Ring, and Johnson Controls have all released WiFi 6 home networking products. Dealers can reap the benefits of WiFi 6 by proactively upgrading subscribers’ home networking equipment to improve the user experience and reduce the number of technical issues often experienced with older WiFi equipment.

Dealers now have the opportunity to take control of the WiFi network, with mesh WiFi solutions designed to support the needs of the security professional. These mesh devices allow coverage of any home or business, WiFi partitioning to enable separation of dealer-installed devices and end-user devices, and remote connectivity to allow dealers/installers to resolve issues without rolling a truck.

These benefits help dealers cut costs by reducing the time and labor necessary for truck rolls, and customers’ problems are solved in a shorter amount of time or potential problems are headed off due to network monitoring from the dealer. A better network experience means a better smart home security experience and highly satisfied and loyal customers.

As the technology used in smart homes and security systems grows in complexity, home networks have struggled to keep up. Consumers opting for professionally installed and monitored systems rely on their providers’ expertise for configuration and support, resulting in increased support costs for dealers.

At the same time, competitive turbulence and pricing/fee pressures have dealers on the hunt for competitive differentiators that offer significant consumer value. Consumers want more, and in this turbulent market, leaders will provide it. Providers must determine how to seize the service opportunities most valuable to their customers or some other provider will.

Jennifer Kent is VP, Research, Parks Associates & Tam Williams is Research Contributor, Parks Associates.

SSI has partnered with Parks Associates for the creation of DIY FYI, a column designed to help dealers keep track of important smart home market developments, what the competition is and whether they want to jump into something they see as a new opportunity.

This is an excerpt from Parks Associates’ latest whitepaper “Control the Network, Control the Costs: Solving the Wi-Fi Problem in Home Security,” in collaboration with Johnson Controls. Download for free today!

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