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- Cable companies like Comcast and Charter could take a leading role in managing in-home broadband IoT, according to a new Cowen analyst note.
- With the proliferation of smart devices like TVs, voice assistants, and thermostats, cable companies have an enormous opportunity to provide a single interface for device management.
- Cable companies already own the connectivity into the home and have a relationship with customers that they can capitalize on to offer an additional service.
The next battle for the home will revolve around home IoT management, and voice control stalwarts Google and Amazon could face stiff competition from Comcast and Charter, according to a new Cowen analyst note.
While cable companies have leaned into their broadband offerings, they’ve overlooked the opportunity to take a dominant role in managing the in-home broadband IoT, with the proliferation of smart devices like TVs, voice assistants, and thermostats, the analysts wrote.
Business Insider Intelligence forecasts there will be more than 64 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from about 10 billion in 2018.
The upcoming battle for the home pits companies like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and Apple TV against each another, and people will want a single interface for device management, the analysts wrote. That’s where companies like Comcast and Charter come in. They already own the connectivity into the home, so they receive the first call from customers when issues arise. They can capitalize on this relationship with customers to offer an additional service.
Comcast already has a device management platform, Xfinity xFi, that it expects to prioritize this year. XFi is an app that’s accessible on mobile, web, and TV and lets Comcast customers set up Wi-Fi networks, troubleshoot network issues, see which devices are connected to their networks, and block or pause connected devices. It displays all the devices in a household that are connected and the network activity on all of them.
Comcast is trying to engage more with customers through xFi, viewing it as a one-stop shop for everything from alerts to service broadband disruptions in the home to informing customers when a credit card is expiring. The next step will be giving customers more information about their network’s speed and capacity. Comcast has been exploring deploying xFi across Europe, Comcast SVP Fraser Stirling told Business Insider in February.
Meanwhile, Charter seems to be working toward launching a device management platform in the fall, according to LightReading. While details have been sparse, initial reports state that the service will operate similarly to xFi.
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