Empowering ISPs: Broadband Forum Unveils New Path for Application Services

By Greg Tavarez July 31, 2023

Traditionally, when users wanted to add new services or functionalities to their electronic devices, they had to go through a process known as a "device software upgrade." This involved manually updating the device's operating system or firmware to accommodate the desired features.

Users had to connect their devices to a computer, download the necessary files and follow specific instructions provided by the manufacturer. These upgrades were necessary because the original software might not have supported the new services, bug fixes or security enhancements users wanted.

However, with technological advancements, the need for manual device software upgrades decreased. In a container framework, applications can be separated from the device’s operating system and managed dynamically within secure and trusted software containers.

This means that new services can be installed without modifying the entire OS, making the process more efficient and seamless. Applications running in containers are isolated from the host system, enhancing security and preventing interference with other applications.

And now, thanks to the Broadband Forum with upgrades to two key standards, internet service providers can manage individual smart home applications separately and without the need for complicated firmware updates.

The recently added features in USP 1.3 and TR-181 Device 2.16 establish a standardized and interoperable method for deploying and supporting value-added applications in a containerized framework. These features are applicable to all broadband subscriber connected devices, such as Wi-Fi routers, set-top boxes and smart home hubs.

With the upgraded standards in place, operators have the opportunity to increase average revenue per user and revolutionize the broadband experience for subscribers. They can now go beyond delivering fast speeds and effortlessly and securely deploy new services with application intelligence directly on subscribers' equipment.

Additionally, the publications enable comprehensive management of the software lifecycle for these applications, streamlining the process for service providers to offer a range of new and distinct value-added services, including Wi-Fi management, cybersecurity, gaming, remote working, smart home, energy management and more.

"With these upgrades, we are reimagining the potential of broadband services, paving the way for service providers to introduce next-generation applications and services with unparalleled ease, without the need for monolithic firmware upgrades," said John Blackford, Broadband Forum (News - Alert) Chairman and Broadband User Services Work Area Co-Director. "Our commitment is to provide an ecosystem that delivers the enhanced and diversified services that end-users now expect."

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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