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Apple, Google and Microsoft to play “major role” in smart home sector

The worldwide market for smart home products and services will grow from US$ 25bn this year to US$ 60bn in 2017, driven by strong growth within the Smart Home Entertainment segment, along with contributions from other segments including Smart Monitoring & Control and Smart Health, according to a new report from the UK’s Juniper Research.

The study notes that there are many definitions which can be attributed to the smart home concept, and that these definitions have evolved over the years to include different facets of connected life such as entertainment, control, security and health.

With the role of broadband connectivity moving beyond its traditional usage cases, new applications and enhanced services have emerged such as connected TVs, home automation systems and smart meters. These new and improved applications, connected via broadband (mobile or fixed) network systems, will increase the service revenue attributable to the area, according to Juniper.

The report urges operators, content providers and vendors to collaborate for a mutually beneficial business model, and warns that no stakeholders or individual members of the smart home ecosystem will be able to succeed in isolation.

Report author Nitin Bhas observes that despite there being no single leaders within this space, service providers are coming forward and taking a proactive role: “Cable operators and broadband service providers have a major role to play as they have an existing billing relationship with the consumers. Bundling other features into existing services enable them to be in a much better position within the pyramid, compared to other new entrants”.

Other players such as Apple, Google and Microsoft are also believed to be in a good position to replicate their success, and will play a major role within the smart home, according to Juniper. The smart home entertainment segment is expected to account for 82% of the total service revenue by 2017, driven by North America and Western Europe.

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