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January 09, 2013

Parks Associates Talks Future of Household Broadband at CES 2013

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

CES (News - Alert) isn't just about gadgets; it's also about the future of technology as it relates to consumer electronics, and for a lot of consumer electronics, nothing is quite so important, so connected to that future as connectivity in general, specifically, broadband connectivity. Parks Associates (News - Alert) just a short time ago announced the release of a new report on the subject at the 2013 CES event, and the conclusions that the report reached are eye-opening to say the least.

The Parks Associates report runs down the concept of broadband penetration, and the result of the same as far as the world goes. By Parks Associates' research, they expect that over 650 million households worldwide will have broadband access by the end of the year. In that same period, the number of households with a data network will rise to 430 million.

Impressive numbers by themselves, but things only get better from there. The revenue taken in from home service bundles will rise to $780 million by the end of 2013, and by the end of 2014, clear $1 billion. Additionally, broadband service providers will deploy 120 million residential gateways and routers by the end of 2017.

The Parks Associates research also had some interesting things to say about mobile technology as well, saying that tablet owners were watching around six hours of video on their device every week. Additionally, 20 percent of U.S. broadband users watched some form of video on their mobile phones in the last 30 days, and 71 percent of smartphone owners have at least one paid app on their phones.

Parks Associates even had something to say about the state of video, saying only 10 percent of U.S. broadband households wanted to rent and watch video through social networking sites--providing a decent explanation of why the Facebook (News - Alert) video rental service never got very far off the ground--and that 90 percent of households with pay-TV in North America have access to some brand of TV Everywhere service.

Finally, the whiteboard pointed to energy monitoring and control systems, which brought energy savings of around 17 percent in some homes. This number is likely to increase as systems improve, and there's plenty of reason for providers to improve them. Big data and data analytics systems will also play a part in the development and operation of same.

That's a lot of waterfront to cover, but suffice it to say that homes are about to get a lot more interconnected than they used to be, and offer a lot more in the way of services as well. While there's plenty of room for growth, there's also a bit of reluctance to add services without what's being called a "clear value proposition on core functions." For instance, connected cars are representing a big growth area as well as a hot topic of discussion at CES. But by like token, connected cars' value only goes so far, as the most popular apps for connected cars are related to navigation and vehicle performance. So to get users interested in a connected car, makers have to show the value involved, and generally, show it along those two critical fronts.

Essentially, consumers are a little gun-shy, and with good reason. The shaky economy has left consumers uncertain and reluctant to pick up new features for their homes unless it's readily apparent that they will be well worth the money to do so. The end result will likely lead to better features and tougher sales, a development that even Parks Associates may not have seen coming.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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