Smart carriers offer "Smart Home" solutions

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Tuomas Kujansuu)

The vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly moving from theory to practice. Attend any industry trade show and vendors are demoing their latest technology for the connected world ecosystem, from smart cars, to m-Health, smart homes and cities. Every player within this ecosystem wants to make sure that they are getting a piece of the IoT pie.

Carriers that want to join the IoT space cannot simply remain the “dumb pipes” of cellular connectivity. In order to leverage the benefits and profitability of this lucrative market, carriers must adopt a strategic approach to rolling out smart home services.

Expansion into the smart home market means a new sea of opportunities, but also a new universe of risks.

Some carriers like AT&T, Rogers Communications and other Tier 1 Carriers are already providing end-to-end IoT solutions. The smart home provides an interesting use case for how carriers can provide IoT services, particularly when competing with technology giants such as Apple, Samsung and Google, who have already released some serious smart home offerings and technologies.

However, carriers face a unique set of challenges as they maneuver to become the primary facilitators for smart homes in particular, and the IoT at large.  Some of those challenges include new ecosystem deployment, new operational and business processes, new risks, market education, and most importantly, the acquisition of new customers in order to achieve greater market share.

Once the smart home business is operational, carriers need to attract new customers to begin using the service. However, in the smart home market, carriers are not yet perceived as a natural fit to provide these services; they are seen as mobile service providers. Therefore, in order to acquire new customers, carriers must work to re-position and change the market’s perception of themselves as not simply limited to providing mobile services.

The question remains: once carriers have developed the new Smart Home ecosystem, how do they build up a customer base? The answer is Big Data analytics.

Carriers face a unique set of challenges as they maneuver to become the primary facilitators for smart homes

Utilizing Big Data analytics with dedicated Smart Home solutions, carriers are able to analyze existing customers’ behaviors and identify those most suitable to target for new Smart Home services. These solutions can help carriers understand who their customers are, their travel patterns, habits and interests, how they use data, and how many people live in a home. With this information, the carrier can create user profiles to more effectively target new customers and households that are more likely to adopt smart home services.

From a business perspective, expansion into the smart home market means a new sea of opportunities, but also a new universe of risks. The IoT ecosystem includes new partners, customers and dealers, which can expose the carrier to new revenue leakages and fraudulent attacks. These attacks must be mitigated and prevented.

When utilizing Big Data Analytics with dedicated Smart Home Solutions, the carrier can understand all the potential risks, monitor for fraudulent activities, and identify mistakes in the charging chain. The carrier can also protect itself from earning a bad reputation due to overcharging customers.

Armed with a Smart Home solution and utilizing a Big Data platform, carriers can now exercise the full business potential of this new revenue stream and gain all the needed insight to acquire new customers while protecting the business.

Do carriers need to change their limiting "mobile service" perception? Let us know in the comments.

If you're interested in learning more about Smart Homes please visit the IoT Tech Expo Europe taking place in London's Olympia this December, 2-3, 2015. 

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