Broadband Infovision Awards: Broadband Home Award


broadbandawards2With less than a month to go until the Broadband Infovision Awards in Amsterdam, we look at this year’s shortlisted entries – starting with the category probably closest to the consumer’s heart – the Broadband Home Award.

The Broadband Home Award recognises an excellent product, service, device or innovation in the area of the broadband home by a telecom solutions vendor or a broadband operator/service provider fixed or wireless.

The shortlisted entries here, all launched between June 2012 and May 2013, offer new prospects for increased revenue, managing costs, improving quality or increasing customer satisfaction.

They range from new products to increase the power and capacity of home broadband, boost multi-screen viewing capability, enhance users’ quality of experience and ease the complexity of rights management.

With demands on home wi-fi networks greater than ever, from an ever-increasing number of connected devices and hi-definition video, the challenge to maintain strong coverage throughout the home has never been more important. Wireless repeaters are often used to boost signal strength and extend the network range, but they significantly reduce network speeds for connected devices.

Actiontec’s WCB3000 Wi-Fi Wireless Network Adapter using multimedia over coax (MoCA) reliably extends a home wi-fi network to an area of the home where wireless coverage was previously weak. The Actiontec adapter uses a wired MoCA network to extend the wi-fi signal via the home’s existing coax wiring. That, says Actiontec, translates into stronger signals, faster speeds and fewer dropped connections. Consumers can use the device to extend the wireless network to all corners of the home. The use of the home’s existing coax infrastructure is an ideal solution because over 90 per cent of US homes have coax.

After successfully trialing the product early in 2013, a Canadian telco provider deployed the WCB3000 to its home broadband subscribers, alongside the Actiontec broadband DSL gateway. The company reported high subscriber satisfaction.

The 2013 Broadband InfoVision awards take place in Amsterdam on 23 October. For more information and to register, visit

With ever-more households wanting to view HD content throughout the home, there’s a clear need for technology to deliver reliable wi-fi for multiscreen sharing. With the Air4641 Video Bridge from AirTies, content from a central set-top box can stream directly to other set-top boxes while simultaneously accommodating four HD streams to tablets, phones and laptops. The Air4641 combines a speed of 600mbps with interference-free 5GHz, with reliable coverage range from 4×4 MIMO. AirTies Mesh software enables 100% wireless coverage range and automatic network optimisation. The Air4641 also strengthens wi-fi range, enabling coverage for mobile devices throughout the home regardless of their distance from the gateway – with only one set-top box needing to be connected terrestrially.

Since arriving in Swisscom retail stores at the end of 2012 the product has had overwhelming positive reviews from both customers and Swisscom. The resulting fall in demand for technical support during and after installation, as well as home visit installation, has meant that the Air4641 has cut costs.

The main challenges facing operators deploying fibre-to-the-x (FTTX) and IPTV services are the huge number of individual home gateways that need to be maintained, with each customer needing a dedicated set-top box. In addition, remote access to content is awkward, and extending to multi-room viewing cumbersome. The vFamily solution from Huawei Technologies offers a virtual set-top-box providing interfaces to IPTV service platforms and OTT content.

The vFamily server acts as a mediation between protocols used by legacy IPTV platforms and protocols used by consumer electronics devices, so consumers obtain new service discovery and content browsing functionality. The server also provides network storage, allowing time shifting, recording and user-generated content. For operators, the virtual STB approach allows them to provide IPTV and on-demand services to users – even if the user doesn’t own an operator’s STB.

The average home now connects up to seven devices to the internet – and limited bandwidth means users are increasingly frustrated by network congestion. But fast internet speeds alone won’t solve networking issues in the connected home. The Qualcomm Streamboost from Qualcomm Atheros is the first consumer router platform that intelligently allocates bandwidth to each application and device in a home network – eliminating the conflict for bandwidth in the connected home.

A browser-accessible interface gives users a graphic representation of the home network in real time, so that every device, and the application on that device, is visible to the user, meaning their favourite online activities are not compromised. While the routers are not yet publicly available, Qualcomm Atheros says demos have been well received by journalists, analysts and consumers.

Throughout its first decade of existence, IPTV has delivered on two of its promises – reducing churn and increasing average revenue per unit, but a satisfying interactive living room experience has largely been missing. LiveBox Play from SoftAtHome delivers interactivity with what the company says is “the best-possible TV experience – unleashing the full power of video over IP by supporting full interactivity”. It is designed for the smart home of the future, with support for premium content redistribution and dual wi-fi for greater flexibility and service quality. The software supports multiple devices, and can recruit second screens as remotes for controlling the TV or PVR.

LiveBox Play’s standard features include free linear TV and pay TV, transactional and subscription-based VoD, advanced PVR/DVR with multiple tuners and remote PVR scheduling. It also includes catch-up TV, streamed games, a gestural remote control, content sharing and discovery, and interactivity with key social networks like Twitter and Facebook, with web browsing, gaming, an app shop and a 3D Blu-ray player. Live Box Play saw 100,000 of Orange’s 5 million IPTV user base upgrade in the first month alone, providing an immediate revenue boost.

Multi-network, multi-screen video services are playing a increasingly vital role in successful pay-TV operators’ service portfolios. But managing the monetisation of content in this delivery environment presents logistical challenges, with home media sharing in particular creating issues over rights management, revenue security and subscribers’ quality of experience.

ViewRight Gateway from Verimatrix securely manages the format translation process for both incoming linear content streams and for local assets recorded on a DVR, extending the operators’ revenue security regime for home networking models, as well as optimising the quality of experience. It works across a range of consumer electronics devices, helping the operator to reach more screens.

ViewRight Gateway has been deployed globally in multi-network deployments, mostly IPTV + OTT, including in Taiwan, UAE, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands, Saudi Telecom and Australia, with more to be announced.

With wireless home networks increasingly challenged by environment limitations like concrete walls and device congestion, powerline solutions are evolving to help, or even replace, wireless networking.

ZyXEL’s HyFi Powerline technology transforms a home’s existing power outlets into a backbone network solution, delivering high-quality output across connected devices. ZyXEL’s HyFi Powerline product intelligently utilises wireless, powerline or both for best possible data speed and reliability.

Home internet subscribers can simply extend their existing wireless networks with ZyXEL’s PLA4231 Powerline Wireless Extender by plugging one standard ZyXEL powerline adapter to an internet-enabled router or gateway, and then plugging in the PLA4231 in another room that needs enhanced wireless signals.



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