Large Majority of Broadband Households Use WiFi as Primary Connection, Study Says

A new Parks Associates whitepaper addresses consumer network troubles and privacy concerns, and new ways operators can support, manage and monetize connected homes.

DALLAS — More than 60% of broadband households in the United States with a networking router received that device from their broadband service provider, according to a new Parks Associates whitepaper.

Sponsored by Calix, a manufacturer of telecommunications access equipment for service providers, the whitepaper addresses operator strategies to enhance customer premise equipment (CPE) and expand their footprint in the connected home.

“Operators have an established claim in the connected home by virtue of their existing customer relationships, but they are competing with many new products that promise improved WiFi, smart home and voice controls, and enhanced data privacy and security. U.S. broadband households now have an average of 9.1 connected devices,” says Brad Russell, research director, connected home, Parks Associates. “Providers can integrate these and other features into the equipment they are deploying into subscribers’ homes, consolidating multiple home services under unified support and premium WiFi coverage.”

The whitepaper, “Staking a Claim in the Connected Home: Service Provider Solutions,” examines new approaches to optimize operator-grade CPE solutions, including support for all connected devices in the home, services to address consumer network troubles and privacy concerns, and new ways operators can support, manage, and monetize connected homes.

View this image gallery for charts and data from the whitepaper.

“One of the challenges around the Internet of Things [IoT]and the connected home is that while consumers expect simplified user experiences, the reality is often far removed,” says Pam Ferguson, assistant vice president, product marketing for cloud and premises, Calix. “This paper highlights research from Parks Associates that indicates that nearly one-half of smart home device owners experience technical issues. Further, 13% of consumers contact their service provider for help resolving smart home device problems, regardless of where the setup problems arise.”

Additional research from the whitepaper shows:

  • 76% of North American broadband households use WiFi as their primary connected technology.
  • Currently 26% of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device.
  • Annual sales of all connected home devices will increase to 442 million units by 2020.
  • In the past year, 37% of U.S. broadband households report that their WiFi network seems slow.

“If operators want to compete effectively in the connected home, they will need to add value through premium CPE and a quality consumer experience,” Russell says. “They already shoulder the blame when things go wrong with WiFi and the network, so they cannot continue to cede ground to new devices while their own services become commoditized.”

To download the whitepaper, go here.

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