09 Jan 2018 Broadband Predictions
We sat down with Sckipio VP Marketing and Products Yaniv Lavi to discuss broadband trends for 2018. Here are his predictions:
- Race to Affordable, Gigabit Broadband is On
The race to deliver affordable gigabit solutions is on, and telcos and cable companies will fiercely compete to deliver these solutions to consumers. In 2018, look for telcos to compete for broadband access market share as competitive technologies like Gfast enable them to better compete with cable providers’ DOCSIS 3.1-based services. We saw a glimpse of this increased market competition in 2017 when AT&T announced it was providing ultra-high-speed services to multi dwelling units (MDUs) and condos in 22 markets. These 22 markets were ones that AT&T has never competed in before. Now AT&T will compete with the local telcos and cable companies for market share. This was the big story in 2017. Look for more of these blockbuster announcements in 2018.
- Multi-Device Homes Will Hog More Bandwidth
The number of consumer devices, including IoT devices, is growing and this will severely hamper broadband speeds as consumers live in multi-device homes. According to the NPD Group, by the end of 2020, the forecast is for 260 million installed devices to be attached to the internet and able to deliver apps to TVs. In fact, smart TVs will drive nearly half of installed Internet-connected TV device growth through 2020. That’s a lot of broadband consumption. As these devices hog bandwidth within the home, broadband access technologies and WiFi capabilities must keep up.
- Telco-Managed WiFi Gains Momentum
The increase in consumer devices and usage will lead to a huge trend: telco-managed WiFi. WiFi technology is not keeping pace with broadband technologies and is resulting in growing consumer frustration. Consumers purchasing one gigabit service are often not able to claim the full gigabit benefits because WiFi routers and devices are not able to process one gigabit performance. It’s a major bottleneck, and one telcos will look to take back in control. Telco-managed WiFi will become more important as broadband access speeds grow and will become an added service for consumers. Telcos will provide the WiFi appliance and installation, which is a major break from the consumer-purchased and consumer-installed WiFi device strategy earlier this decade. Broadband access is now faster than in-home WiFi and WiFi needs to catch up!
- Urban Digital Divide Can Be Solved
The urban digital divide has been written about over the past few years with no clear cut solution to solving it affordably. The urban digital divide has several contributing factors, including: more MDUs in urban areas; many urban areas are generally less affluent than their suburban counterparts; and these cities house older infrastructure that is difficult and costly to replace. Gfast will help solve the urban digital divide. On a per cost per gigabit basis, Gfast is one quarter the price of fiber and uses existing infrastructure to deliver more than 500 Mbps. CenturyLink, Windstream, Frontier and AT&T all announced Gfast deployments and/or trials in 2017. We should see more Gfast MDU deployments in 2018!
- Edge Networking Eases Latency Concerns
Latency will still be a concern, but less so with edge networking and better broadband access options available in 2018. According to Gartner, as the number of devices on enterprise networks multiplies, it makes sense to shift computing power to the network edge and closer to where these devices reside. In addition, edge computing allows data produced by internet of things (IoT) devices to be processed closer to the source instead of sending it across long routes to data centers or clouds. By computing closer to the edge of the network, it allows organizations to analyze important data in near real-time – which is critical for organizations including manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications and finance.