Products compliant to Broadband Forum standards predicted to grow by 32% in the next two years

According to a new forecast* by Ovum, the number of residential gateways, TV set-top boxes and other home broadband equipment in use that support the Broadband Forum’s TR-069 (CPE WAN Management Protocol) standard will reach 356 million in 2016, as a growing number of service providers embrace the management protocol to support burgeoning demand for ultrafast-broadband and smart-home services.

The forecast was commissioned by the Broadband Forum standards body responsible for TR-069 as part of a wide-reaching project that saw Ovum survey over 250 global industry executives, including over 100 in senior roles at broadband service providers, about their use of TR-069 and plans for the smart home.

TR-069 is a technical specification that defines a common communication protocol that enables broadband service providers to remotely configure devices, enable end-to-end delivery of new services, and then cost-effectively manage and support them.

Rob Gallagher, Ovum research director, commented: "Our survey shows that service providers are already deriving significant value from TR-069, with over six out of ten reporting benefits such as simplified service delivery, faster fault resolution and lower installation costs."

"Adoption of TR-069 will accelerate as a growing number of DSL, fiber and cable service providers alike bake technology into their ultrafast-broadband, multiplay bundling and smart-home strategies. With the number of connected devices and applications set to grow, they see a clear need to better visualise, support and control activity on the home network, with eight out of ten stating that TR-069 will play a significant role in their smart-home strategies."

Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum states, "the Forum is delighted to see the continuing growth and expanded use of the TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol in broadband operators' networks and the exciting opportunities that exist as the needs of the connected home move from managing devices to managing services. The survey brings this vibrant market sector to the attention of the whole industry and shows how the complex technical work of TR-069 is making a real practical difference."

Ovum's estimate of 269 million TR-069-enabled devices by end-2014 marks an increase on a projection of 250 million made by the global research and advisory firm as part of a 2012 study commissioned by the Broadband Forum. Ovum revised its estimates upwards largely to reflect moves by a growing number of service providers to take greater control over the residential gateway as they accelerate take-up of ultrafast-broadband and multiplay bundles.

Residential gateways will account for the majority of TR-069-enabled CPE, rising from just under 200 million at the end of 2014 to 255 million at the end of 2016. During this period, the percentage of fixed-broadband connections equipped with a TR-069-enabled residential gateway will increase from 26% to 30%. TV set-top boxes will be the second-largest category, rising from 46 million at the end of 2014 to 69 million at the end of 2016. More findings from the survey can be found within the "Efficient and Automated Smart Home Rollout"** whitepaper, which was sponsored by Axiros.

Bringing fiber to Africa

Across Africa, the deployment of high speed networks is accelerating, with the continent part-way through a connectivity transformation. The landing of submarine cables around the African coast has provided high capacity links to the Internet, but networks are needed to connect inland areas to these hubs. Additionally, a growing percentage of the population relies on mobile phones, not just to make calls but also to bank, shop and access the Internet, leading to a requirement for cost-effective data backhaul.

The market need

Both high speed broadband and backhaul networks for mobile operators increasingly rely on fiber. Previous deployments of copper-based networks had cost advantages, but in many places problems with bad terminations and cable theft have led to outages, meaning that fiber is becoming the solution of choice.

Across Africa fiber is now the preferred carrier of backhaul services with SDH, DWDM and MPLS deployed for protected services and FTTx, FWA, GPON and microwave radio being the preferred methods for last mile deployments.