Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Triple-play Support: The View from the Home Network

Summary information from Day 2: CONNECTIONS™ May 2007, hosted in Santa Clara, CA

This panel addresses the role of residential gateways, advanced CPE, and service provisioning and networking maintenance tools in reducing support costs for the service provider and enhancing the bottom line.

Duncan Bees, Deputy Chairman of the HGI Quality of Service Working Group, PMC-Sierra, Inc. Wayne Davis, Technical Advisory Board, Peak8 Solutions
Richard Nesin, Vice President, Marketing, CopperGate Communications
Tushar Saxena, Director, Home Networking Technologies, Verizon Communications
Michael Stich, Director, Service Provider Strategic Marketing, Texas Instruments
Ofer Vilenski, CEO, Jungo Software Technologies
Moderator: Kurt Scherf, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Parks Associates

Panelists discussed the required features of an end-to-end broadband and in-home network ecosystem as managed by a service provider. Kurt Scherf introduced the topic by indicating Parks Associates’ research predicts service providers will manage upwards of 30% of the home networks, via smart residential gateways, deployed by year-end 2010. Scherf further indicated that if the industry is to provide sufficient support for advanced services, it must build solutions to address the following issues:
  • CPE installation and configuration;
  • Service provisioning;
  • Diagnostics and monitoring;
  • Remote support;
  • Telephone support; and
  • On-site support.

The panelists represented a diverse spectrum of companies involved in the end-to-end management of broadband and home network services. Wayne Davis, representing Peak8 Solutions, indicated that they are focused on solutions for both the customer as well as the help-desk agent. Rich Nesin at CopperGate discussed QoS monitoring that is made possible through home networking chipsets. Michael Stich at Texas Instruments discussed the company’s DSP-based monitoring and measurement solutions, notably PIQUA™. Ofer Vilenski from Jungo discussed the role of residential gateway software in monitoring, management, and easing service provisioning. Duncan Bees from PMC-Sierra discussed the Home Gateway Initiative (HGi) and its goal of helping service providers deploy more standardized management and provisioning solutions. Tushar Saxena from Verizon said that the service provider’s biggest challenges today are installing broadband and home networking services and platforms with minimal expense; ensuring interoperability between different customer premise equipment; and making troubleshooting more efficient.

Clearly, service providers face growing challenges as they take on the responsibility for deploying a growing number of converged services. Ofer Vilenski mentioned that customer support costs in the first year of a subscriber’s service to a triple-play service can often exceed the dollars spent on the home networking equipment. The panelists believe that there is no firm business model for monetizing support at present, fearing that a fee-based business model may alienate customers today. Instead, enhanced customer support could actually be a good differentiator for service providers to set themselves apart from their competitors.

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