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The Future of Smart Homes is Smarter Homes: 5G Changes Everything

By Matthew Vulpis

As the world continues to become more digital with each passing day, service providers must find ways to keep up with technology, to meet the rising demands of their subscribers. Residential consumers are becoming increasingly adept at immersive technologies from augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), among others, service providers have struggled to keep up with the demand for rich multi-media experiences across an exploding number of devices in nearly every room in the homes of their most affluent and valuable customers.

The accelerating rollout of 5G has given service provides one solution to this problem, as well as an opportunity to break into new revenue, but now without being able to monitor, manage and expand edge services for increasingly savvy subscribers.

Faster connectivity speeds, ultra-low latency, and greater bandwidth offered by 5G make it possible for a service provider to offer improved packages as smart homes become smarter homes.

The word “smart” refers to “self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology,” which is technology that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analysis to provide cognitive awareness to objects that were in the past considered inanimate. Smart technology has already taken a foothold in a variety of industries, with smart buildings, cities, and transportation growing both around the U.S and the globe.

The greatest opportunity, according to industry experts, is in the booming smart home industry, where, with the help of 5G and edge compute, with lightning-fast mesh networks, service providers can roll out exciting and competitive offerings to those who wish to make their homes ever smarter. A smart home refers to a convenient home setup where appliances and devices can be automatically controlled, whether to make the home safer or more comfortable and convenient. With the rise of work-from-home models, these smart homes also serve as offices that require extremely stable and fast connectivity or as virtual schools for remote learning.

The smart home marketing is forecast to grow and surpass the 350 million mark by 2023, making it an industry service providers can’t afford to miss out on.

When services providers raise their game by adding 5G capabilities, the real-time demands of a SMART home can be met – today and in the future. Adding more and more sensors, applications, entertainment options, and more of everything is what monetizes the massive investments in building 5G infrastructure, buying spectrum, retraining techs and contact center agents allowing, and more. At Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, as usual, there have been thousands of announcements, and most of them seem to have at least some 5G story.

In Barcelona, Veea Inc., a leader in integrated smart edge connectivity, computing, and security technologies for hybrid edge-cloud managed services, announced STAX@Home “Smarter Home” solution for its STAX-5G CPE, which is the first-ever 5G-based broadband access CPE, with a globally carrier certified 5G modem, as a stack module that can be purchased together with, or separately as an add-on to, the STAX base unit supporting a highly integrated Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router, IoT connectivity gateway and distributed computing delivering hybrid edge-cloud managed applications and services, at Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona this week.

“The Smarter Home of the future is no longer limited to managing a few door locks, thermostats, light switches, or cameras,” said Allen Salmasi, Chairman and CEO of Veea. “In the near future, besides the typical use cases, our homes will be an extension of the enterprises that we work for, retail stores, local theaters, sports stadium and arenas, concert halls, and similar venues with user experiences that require a variety of edge services and capabilities.”

“This is an extremely exciting time in our industry,” Salmasi continued, “and network operators who rapidly roll-out 5G-based fixed broadband access and support subscriber’s use cases with one highly integrated and easy to install and manage CPE solution at the edge – in the subscriber’s home – can gain significant market share while accelerating the return on their initial investments with a stand-alone Smarter Home bundle, other application bundles or potentially even bundled with their mobile service offerings providing for even larger CapEx and OpEx savings while substantially improving subscriber retention.”

STAX’ distributed computing, delivered through the whole house Wi-Fi 6 mesh network, supports a virtualized software environment on each STAX mesh node with each application securely running in another industry-first lightweight Secure Docker container with service policies. The VeeaHub platform provides for convergence of services, applications, and policy, which is essential to the delivery of a consistent user experience while providing for the end-to-end management of STAX devices.

The unique architecture enables an application mesh, a microservice-based mesh, and an edge intelligence mesh over the entire coverage area created by Wi-Fi 6 mesh network, with hybrid edge-cloud managed networking and computing, facilitating many possibilities, including 5G network slices directly serving application endpoints running in complete isolation on any mesh nodes.

This confluence of technological, social, and enterprise developments point to 5G-based broadband service delivery through hardware and software solutions at customer premises that are highly secure and can readily be customized to offer value-added services combined with Zero-Touch Installations (ZTI), advanced networking, and backend APIs for integration with network operators’ BSS/OSS for edge managed services.

For example, with this architecture, Smarter Home solutions offered by service providers may include dedicated network slices over 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) service offerings for office applications and services used by remote workers at home while the remote workers can simultaneously, seamlessly and securely connect to all typical systems at home, including lighting, HVAC, cameras, etc., anywhere in his or her home over the whole house mesh with multiple “data traffic lanes” over public network connections for office use cases and typical home broadband services.

Veea’s mission is to bring service providers an easy-to-sell, easy to provision, and automated ‘plug and play’ solution for 5G-based broadband access with Smart Computing Hub solutions that support network-managed applications and services with an intuitive mobile app and web interface for their subscribers.

“Veea offers a highly modular edge computing and wireless access network solution that provides service providers and enterprises with the flexibility and capabilities they need to address a fast-expanding frontier of heterogeneous computing and network opportunities across the edge,” said Leonard Lee, Managing Director & Founder of neXt Curve. “The STAX platform’s modular design allows developers to design and deploy tailored wireless networks and distributed edge applications supporting innovative solutions in retail, the home, and more. VeeaHub also offers edge infrastructure managers with cloud-based tools to manage the full lifecycle of edge computing and network services. These are all important features and elements of mobile edge computing that Veea has integrated into an integrated portfolio of hardware, software, and services that can accelerate the realization of novel edge applications in the era of distributed edge intelligence.”

Edited by Luke Bellos

Content Contributor

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