The imminent introduction of Wi-Fi 6 will accelerate the already volcanic explosion of connected devices. The new standard will not only be ten times faster (up to 10Gbps) than the current IEEE 802.11ax, it has been expressly designed to connect to multiple devices at a time – in turn multiplying the already high security risk for consumers.
Some 20 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be sold in the next few years, a large proportion of which will be to augment the smart home for everything from heating, ventilation and lighting control to CCTV, smart assistants and nanny-cams.
Home Wi-Fi is already buckling under the strain. Even assuming adoption of Wi-Fi 6, the load on network will be exacerbated as more and more sensors compete for attention.
When bandwidth drops, or a user can’t get a device online, it is the fixed line, mobile operator or pay TV provider which gets the call first – regardless whether it is their router or service at fault.
Furthermore, in the effort to simply get online the consumer can often be their own worst enemy. They might not follow the correct protocols or be bothered to subscribe to the higher levels of security that might be on offer. In the sensor-laden smart home which is in turn connected to the wider IoT, protecting one device is unlikely to throw a lock around them all.
Research shows that consumers in the hunt for a smart home device prioritize two things: seamless always-on trouble-free connectivity and the absolute privacy of their family in their home – a Blackberry survey earlier this year found that 58% of consumers would be willing to pay more for connected devices, if they know their data and privacy is protected. That presents a business opportunity for the smart communications service provider (CSP) who can offer them both, boost ARPU with value added services and beat out rival smart home service providers at the same time.
This is where Irdeto’s newly launched Trusted Home comes in. It’s a sophisticated software agent that can be ported to new and existing Wi-Fi routers for consumers by the CSP.
As you would expect of one of the industry’s leading security specialists, protection is going to be iron clad. It provides a smart firewall for all IoT devices in the house and a defence against attacks whether outbound DDoS or phishing style attempts or inbound from malware pre-installed on a device. Either way the attack is identified, prevented, isolated.
Furthermore, Trusted Home allows the consumer to run speed checks on all their devices and receive diagnostic advice to improve performance, for example to switch to a different Wi-Fi channel.
Unlike third party router gear which will have no responsibility for or knowledge of the home network, Irdeto’s solution will make this information transparent to the CSP giving it the chance to be proactive on the consumer’s behalf while reducing costly customer service tasks and truck rolls.
Even better, it offers users the chance to set house rules with the ability to restrict access to the internet at certain times of the day (during homework time for the kids perhaps) or to filter by content or limit social media.
It would appear to be a win-win all round. The solution helps CSPs gain an edge over competition for the smart home, it decreases key costs while addressing the customer’s main concerns. After all, a happy customer is a loyal customer and that reduces churn.