Unifying The Connected Home: IoT Gateway Providers Seek To Grab Market Share

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The battle is on to gain market share in the expanding Internet of Things (IoT) gateway market for the connected home, according to Gartner, which has found that ISPs are poised to be the early winners.IoT devices are being developed across all categories and multiple home platforms have emerged, with Gartner predicting the most successful gateway provider will develop a system that “seamlessly integrates with nearly any vendor’s IoT application and is relatively painless to the homeowner”.

Conversely, with consumers wanting to exercise their choice when it comes to the various IoT products in the market, a system that locks users into one specific operating system will limit opportunity.

“Many IoT applications are triggered by sensors and need data management, but there is no single IoT gateway to the home,” Paul O’Donovan, Gartner principal research analyst, noted.

“As internet-connected homes become increasingly smarter, the gateway is becoming the ‘centre’ for connecting the different devices and home appliances to make the management of the ecosystem happen.”

The number of smart connected homes is expected to grow from between 100 million and 200 million now to between 500 million and 700 million by 2020, according to Gartner.

Gartner notes that gateway makers have not been inhibited from trying to develop the market and capture share by “the lack of a good business model or the immaturity of home IoT products”, with cable companies, internet companies, alarm companies and mobile phone operating system providers all “actively creating platforms and ecosystems in an attempt to break into the market”.

With multiple home platforms having emerged, Gartner notes that some of the platforms are beginning to open up, or at the least work with the others, while some smart home solutions are taking advantage of the void, creating hubs that act as a central command system for smart home devices, employing multiple communication protocols.

“As the IoT gateway market emerges, ISPs will be the early winners in the battle for the home gateway, provided they develop solutions or partner with hub manufacturers,” O’Donovan commented.

“The mobile phone providers will gain a smaller part of this market, but ultimately the cellular model will not have enough bandwidth to compete with the ISP solution. Longer term, there will need to be an integrated device, whereby the gateway is also the hub, or integrated hub and gateway solutions will be needed.”

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