Cable has a chance of building on the Internet of Things, but at the moment it’s a limited one.
In the first CTAM-produced session at Cable Congress, Jon Watts, managing partner, MTM said that of the 12 to 13 per cent of operators currently offering an IOT-based product, such as security or home monitoring, the majority were in fact telcos.
Much was made of the involvement of Comcast – original panelist Chris Stevens was absent because his company Icontrol had been purchased by the US cablenet in the past few weeks – but as Watts explained scale was important. “It’s something that for smaller operators it’s generally challenging. Even some of the larger operators say just 5 to 10 pic might take some sort of IOT product. That’s fine if you’re Comcast, but not so fun if you’re a small Estonian operator.”
Charles Cheevers, CTO, Arris, pointed to the ease at which technologies could be integrated. Five standards including Bluetooth and Zigbee could be integrated into just 15 megabytes of software, however there was still one important challenge. “This is probably the biggest technology area looking for a business case. We know it’s a fragmented environment and the cable operators best business case is to aggregate the experience.”
Thermostats cameras and lights, were according to Cheevers, the three big points for the operator. From there operators should work with existing providers to enable cloud integrations and run from a single hub. “We have solutions that take any Bluetooth and Zigbee-based lock that we can open and close. But conversations are needed with companies like Yale and Kwikset to use their cloud systems, so a deal must be struck.”
However, Andrew Wajs, CTO, Irdeto sounded a warning, saying basic security mistakes were being made, such as using basic passwords on camera that could easily be hacked. Smart cars had seen their systems hacked with third parties taking control of a vehicle’s systems including vital functions including the brakes.