Telecoms operators have one big advantage over all the other players that are keen to get into the home networking space: their direct relationship with the end user. But they must also change the way they buy home networking equipment in order to offer the best service, according to Israeli software provider Jungo.
“This [direct relationship] is something they must leverage,” Jungo CEO Eran Rom told Total Telecom at Broadband World Forum on Thursday. Many players, including content aggregators, consumer electronics device makers and Internet companies are also looking to make their mark in the connected home, he explained.
Jungo believes that its model – that of a software-only provider – is part of a broader industry trend that will increasingly see telecoms operators buying software as a separate component for their home gateways, rather than acquiring an end-to-end solution from a hardware maker.
It is necessary for telcos to have more control of their in-home services, but “that cannot be achieved if they continue buying the same way they are buying today,” Rom warned.
“Define what you want and buy the software directly from a software vendor,” he advised. That enables telecoms operators to more easily add new features and services, and to differentiate themselves from the competition.
“[Hardware vendors'] expertise is not in software,” Rom added. For the service provider, 95% of the value of the home gateway product is in the software, he said. Service providers should not work with “someone who is expert in 5% of the overall value of your product.”
The home gateway makers are moving to compensate for the changes in the market by improving their software. “But they are still hardware vendors,” Rom insisted.
Furthermore, the new generation of home gateway products will potentially allow telcos to strengthen their position in the connected home as they move into quad-play and more advanced media and content.
“This requires an evolution of the gateway from a triple-play gateway to what we are calling a media transport gateway,” Rom said.
Essentially, the new gateways enable service providers to distribute any kind of content – premium, personalised or over-the-top content, for example – to what