Is the Smart Home Market the Next Big Opportunity for Operators?

While small operators are still dipping their toes into the TV Everywhere pond, larger operators are already on to the next big thing: smart homes.

Although operators are familiar with the four current “plays” including fixed voice, broadband, video and mobile, some believe that the technical and business ingredients already exist to make the smart home the next phenomenon. Big name service providers such as Comcast and Verizon have already established themselves in the managed smart home market, which is estimated to grow from a $3.6 billion market to $14.7 billion by 2017.“The home automation market has finally started to fulfill its promise,” says Michael Wolf, Chief Analyst for NextMarket Insights. “After decades of being touted as a ‘next-big-thing’ technology, the maturation of hardware, software and the entrance of large managed service providers are helping the market opportunity transition from promise to reality.”

For consumers, home automation technology can be used to improve efficiencies and cost through control and automation of their home systems. For example, consumers can control anything from heating systems to alarms remotely. However, while the possibilities and benefits are copious for consumers, the smart home market will prove challenging for small operators.

Despite the challenges, however, service providers cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity to move into a new lucrative sector, especially with increasing completion from OTT providers. In fact, operators are well position to take advantage of this market as broadband connectivity is the backbone of the “connected home.”

With managed home automation subscribers expected to go from 2.7 million today to close to 35 million subscribers by 2017, operators have a great opportunity to jump on the bandwagon early and establish themselves as innovators.