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100% of IPTV operators to use residential gateways by 2013

As the price of residential gateways continues to decline, operators around the world are starting to see residential gateways as the gatekeeper for new, high-margin, revenue-generating traffic, according to a new report from US firm Infonetics Research.

“With residential gateway revenue dropping because of price declines and a saturated broadband subscriber base, operators are looking to new services to increase revenue per subscriber,” said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research.

“From our recent interviews with operators around the world, it is clear that they see their broadband access lines (be they DSL, cable, or FTTH) as a conduit for new revenue-generating services, far beyond today’s voice, data, and broadcast video services.”

While an estimated 88% of IPTV operators around the world are currently using a residential gateway, that figure is predicted to increase to 100% by 2013. The report states that the most critical residential gateway features are those that help operators deliver video and ensure video quality, including IGMP, TR-069 management, and IPv6.

The fastest-growing new services that operators plan to offer over residential gateways include home automation, home security, and multiscreen video (wireless distribution of video to set-top boxes, PCs, tablets, and mobile phones in the home). However many others are also gaining popularity, including online gaming and video telephony.

Residential gateways are believed to be a better fit than basic modems for these types of services because they can be remotely managed and provisioned, have an open application layer to add and customise new features, and offer higher throughput and greater security features.

In an open-ended question asking operators who they consider to be the top 3 residential gateway vendors, operators most often named Huawei, Pace, and ZTE, according to Infonetics Research.

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