By Christian Lefebvre, Senior Vice President, Technicolor Connected Home, known as Vantiva.
The entire industry is in the middle of a massive transformation away from deploying proprietary customer premises equipment (CPE) solutions, toward platform-based computing and communications architectures running open systems. This is making it possible to deliver solutions from a growing number of innovative players in the market from common platforms that can be offered by network service providers (NSPs) to increasingly sophisticated and demanding consumers.
It is a trend that is changing the rules for how NSPs engage with users. It is also creating new opportunities to strengthen relationships with their customers while opening the door to new revenue streams.
Platforms of Innovation Redefine Connected Home Experience
For years, NSPs successfully addressed the specific needs of users by offering specific solutions based on dedicated hardware offerings. Set-top boxes (STBs) delivered video services. Gateways provided broadband connectivity. Wireless routers provided basic Wi-Fi services in the home. Until fairly recently, there was not a tremendous amount of integration among these devices, beyond the fact that the hardware devices could connect to each other…and then to the wide-area network.
But all of that has changed, and very quickly. The entrance of new disruptive players, and new technologies — has combined to elevate consumer expectations — creating new imperatives for successfully meeting the needs of users.
The result is that innovation and competition have moved up the technology stack. Some of the most interesting and profitable areas of technology innovation and competition are taking place above the hardware and middleware layers. Platforms such as Android TV and RDK, which are the two leading open solutions in video services, continue to see increased adoption by the NSP community as they allow a wide variety of innovative applications to reside, coexist and interact seamlessly to provide more intuitive options to users. Moreover, these applications enable NSPs to leverage capabilities such as analytics, advertising and IoT to create new streams of revenue while delivering the highest level of customer experience.
Quality of Partnerships Determines Effectiveness of NSP Offerings
The implication of this transformation is that the key metrics of success also move up the value stack. Where we recently focused strictly on technical performance — the speeds and feeds of bandwidth, connectivity and processing capacity — NSPs are now using these measures to determine how they directly — or indirectly — contribute to a positive customer experience. The technical metrics still matter. It is just that they are not being observed in a vacuum.
NSPs are quickly concluding that any investment in technology must contribute to the value of applications and experiences that touch their customers — whether it is the ability to navigate a video library, optimize the wireless network or protect their families with digital home security solutions.
Given the wide variety of experiences and use cases that consumers today expect to see delivered digitally over their existing networks and home infrastructures, strong partnerships become an important success factor. No single entity is in a position to provide high levels of excellence needed to meet stringent consumer expectations across the growing spectrum of services.
Technicolor’s Commitment to Developing Innovative Ecosystems
This is the reason that Technicolor has made such a strong commitment to building hardware and middleware CPE platforms that are both robust and agile for the connected home environment. We have proven that this architectural approach successfully creates the foundation for seamless interoperability among best-of-breed players in the industry.
It provides NSPs with access to an ecosystem of innovators that create more options for delivering revenue-generating value to users in an efficient and cost-effective manner.