New Opportunities Emerge for Open and Intelligent CPE Technologies Throughout the Americas as Customer Expectations for In-home Infrastructure Rise

By: Technicolor
Eric Rutter, Technicolor
Eric Rutter, Technicolor
ATLANTA - Jan. 12, 2021 - PRLog -- 2020 was a pivotal year in the development and deployment of Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) to support the shifting needs of end users. This has resulted in a wave of innovation and advancements in technology that is paving the way for exciting new capabilities in 2021 and beyond, says Eric Rutter, President of Americas for Technicolor Connected Home in an interview for journalists.

The pandemic made internet access to the home an acute necessity. In the midst of a global pandemic, content and communication services became a necessity for many around the world—including across North, Central, and South America. It created an imperative to improve all aspects of network service provider (NSP) infrastructure, including the quality and capacity of CPE.

"As a result, requirements for broadband internet access will continue to drive CPE growth in 2021 and beyond. When customers cannot benefit from distance learning, remote telecommuting or remote healthcare, the economy suffers," says Rutter.

A Tale of Two Markets Across the Hemisphere

"Looking at internet access, there are two different markets. There is one market that currently has connectivity and has historically been served. But there is also a market that has historically been either underserved or has not had any access at all due to limitations brought about by geography or economics," he says..

The first market, for the most part, receives premium access at 500 megabits-per-second (Mbps) service and beyond. The benefit of a larger access pipe to the home is a reduction in latency which is important for video streaming, video conferencing and gaming. Additionally, a bigger pipe improves capacity for traffic upstream and provides an overall better user-experience, which is especially important now as people work from home and use video-conferencing services while sharing important—and sometimes large—files with customers and colleagues from their home..

"Moving forward, this highly competitive market will demand—and receive—more ultra-broadband and gigabyte services which will further propel growth of DOCSIS 3.1, fiber and 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) technologies," Rutter says.

Also important for this segment of the market is the need to optimize network performance within the home. Up until very recently, NSPs have not had a lot of control over in-home wireless local-area networks. However, as the number of devices connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi grows, so does the complexity associated with maintaining a good experience. As a result, we are seeing consumers across the Americas express interest in having NSPs manage this aspect of their digital lives.

"That is why Technicolor Connected Home is working with NSPs throughout the Americas to improve Wi-Fi management. It enhances the customer experience, which in turn, reduces churn rates and lowers the overall cost of subscriber acquisition. Our service provider partners are investing in new Wi-Fi technologies for this very reason," he says.

In terms of markets that have traditionally been underserved or not served at all, Rutter expects advancements in FWA to bridge this digital divide. In the U.S., under- or un-served market accounts for approximately 20 million homes and typically includes consumers in rural and other hard to reach geographic locations. Within Latin America the underserved market exceeds 50 million homes.

"These are challenging homes to reach because of physical limitations and economics; it is expensive to lay fiber for rural or mountainous areas and often consumers in these areas are extremely price sensitive," says Rutter. "There are exciting opportunities emerging for NSPs to reach these households with 100 Mbps services. This is a big improvement for homes that have at best received 5 Mbps access."

Technicolor is working with NSPs to harness new FWA technologies that integrate 4G, 5G and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum to overcome the challenges of rural and remote markets.

Demand for Open, Powerful and Intelligent CPE Rises in 2021

In the past few years, memory requirements have increased from less than a gigabyte to multiple gigabytes of memory and corresponding improvements in processing power. Software enabled capabilities such as management features and security testing—which are quickly becoming requirements—will all contribute to driving an evolution of the ecosystem.

"We have addressed these performance requirements with a commitment to creating open platforms for third-party developers. That is why Technicolor Connected Home continues to invest in the HERO Partnership Program—which includes the most innovative software and middleware developers in the industry. We are working closely with these companies to integrate their software and services into our CPE. The goal is to help our NSP customers be as successful as possible by making sure that we reduce the integration costs to NSPs," says Rutter.

CART-based Supply Chain Principles Ensure CPE Continuity

While 2020 introduced unprecedented challenges that disrupted the flow of device components for next generation CPE, Technicolor was able to rise to the challenge and meet NSP deployment requirements throughout the hemisphere.

"We were able to assess and act quickly to meet our customers' needs by remaining committed to excellence in engineering and supply chain management thanks to our CART principles of: 'continuity, agility, resiliency, and transparency. We've been a trusted partner for decades and we look forward to serving our customers across the Americas for years to come. We will continue to focus on helping NSPs profitably deploy new innovations—such as Wi-Fi 6, Android TV, and beyond—to better engage with subscribers and meet the technical, service and economic needs of their specific markets," he concludes.

To read the entire Q&A visit:

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