Home gateways — integrated, all-in-one devices that can be the centerpiece of the new digital home — are expected to grow greatly through 2013; accordingly, service providers are seeking ways to differentiate themselves in this market, according to the latest report from Light Reading Insider. "There is a growing shift away from traditional modems and routers toward home gateways," says Denise Culver, research analyst with Light Reading's VoIP Services Insider and author of the report. "A home gateway is the key convergence device at the heart of the digital home — an environment in which personal computers, TV, video, music, telephony, and automated home systems all converge to make daily life more simple and fun." The growing market adoption of home networking is leading to increased demand for gateways, which will only grow in the next 18 to 24 months, Culver says. "One bright spot in the VoIP market continues to be the fast-growing digital home gateway segment, as more telcos use them to bundle broadband services," she notes. "Most analysts agree that broadband connections that deliver converged services will grow at a healthy clip from 2010 to 2013." Key findings of "Home Gateways: Door Opens for SPs to Realize Value-Adds" include the following:
- Home gateways no longer are easily defined or contained. Vendors see them replacing the set-top box entirely for media and Web applications on the TV.
- While several apps and services are made possible through home gateways, there is no dominant killer app beyond wireless home networking.
- While modem shipments remain strong, home gateways become more prevalent with their ability to become the primary interface between service providers and end users.
- Home gateway vendors agree they need to develop more successful business models and increase ROI.
- One trend to expect in home gateways is more requests for customized products, including external design and firmware.
Source: "Home Gateways: Door Opens for SPs to Realize Value-Adds" conducted by Light Reading Insider, August 6, 2009. Website: www.lightreading.com.