BBWN: CES Launches Expand Cableco Smart-Home Opportunities
Also in today's roundup of fixed-access broadband news, UK FTTH availability surges, Africa's pay-TV subs to increase (although revenue won't keep pace), Amazon investment fund pours into Sweepr, Sunrise names new CFO while Russia's Akado Telecom gets new CEO, plus more.
2020's Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off this week, features plenty of smart-home technologies doubtlessly headed for service providers' broadband networks. These include the Lumi by Pampers Connected Baby Care System, which combines a smart HD video monitor and activity sensor with an app (pictured on home page.) Also on display, a "whole-home smart water ecosystem" from Moen, which includes voice-activated, app-based technologies to control kitchen and bath fixtures and a home-water monitoring security system, according to the vendor. Moen's WiFi- and cloud-based digital shower offers mobile connectivity and up to 12 customized pre-sets so consumers can control their shower with the in-unit controller, smartphone app or voice (via Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant).
About 3 million UK homes, representing 10% of the population, can connect via full-fiber for speeds up to 1 Gbps according to a late-December
Ofcom report. That's a dramatic increase from 2018, when 6% (1.6 million premises) had that capability, the UK regulator said. About 53%, around the same number as the prior year, can get ultrafast broadband using any combination of fiber and cable (HFC and DOCSIS), with download speeds of at least 300 Mbps, Ofcom found.
Africa's pay-TV subscriber base will reach 47.26 million by 2025 from 30.7 million at year-end 2019, according to Digital TV Research. Nigeria will lead the way, at 10 million subs by 2025, overtaking South Africa by the end of this year, the research firm said. Between 2019 and 2025, African subscriber numbers will grow 54%, although pay-TV revenue will increase only 31% due to drops in price and ARPU; revenue will reach $7.2 billion by 2025, growth of $1.92 billion from 2019, Digital TV Research determined.
Protecting From the Drip, Drip, Drip of Water Damage
At CES, Moen and Flo Technologies launched "Flo by Moen Smart Water Detector," a connected solution designed to reduce the risk of water damage, creating another use case for operators offering smart home solutions, managed WiFi and high-speed broadband.
(Photo: Business Wire)
The Amazon Alexa Fund joined Irish startup Sweepr's recently completed $9 million Series A round as a strategic investor, according to the developer. Sweepr offers an adaptive tech-support platform that allows service providers to eliminate many support calls while still offering specific, customized and useful subscriber service. (See Startup Wants to Help ISPs Turn Smart Home Customer Care Into a Profit Center.)
Uwe Schiller was today named the new CFO of Sunrise, following last week's appointment of former CFO André Krause as CEO. As BBWN reported last week, Krause replaced Olaf Swantee, who resigned. Schiller is currently SVP finance and investor relations at Sunrise.
Grigoriy Novitskiy was named CEO of fixed-broadband operator Akado Telecom in December, according to media accounts. He replaces Sergey Nazaro; no reason was publicly given for the change in leadership. Novitsky, who already was a board member, signed a 2-billion-ruble loan ($32.3 million) at year-end, according to December 2019 board-meeting minutes.
SVoD services represent 65.9% of the UK entertainment industry, according to the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE). The home entertainment sector grew 9.5% in the UK last year to £2.6 billion ($3.4 billion), BASE said.
Speaking of SVoD, more than 70% of US broadband households now own at least one streaming entertainment product and half own a smart TV, according to new research from Parks Associates. Also, 77% of smart-TVs in these households connect to the Internet, up from 62% in 2014, the researcher found.
Automating Subscriber Service With an App
With $9 million from investors, including an undisclosed amount from Amazon, Irish startup Sweepr expects to increase its reach and capabilities, attracting more service providers looking to enhance subscriber service and reduce smart-home support costs.
(Photo source: Sweepr)
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana. Like what you read: Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.