Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Convergence of the set-top box and RG?

We've been speculating for some time now about whether we are going to see the convergence between set-top box and RG functionality. In reports such as Set-top Boxes: Outlook and Connected Home: Global Outlook, we interviewed companies from both the service provider and the CPE side to identify the key catalysts and timing for the "all-in-one" box that
incorporates all data, communications, and entertainment access would impact their services and costs. Drivers for such deployments are the cable industry’s move away from all MPEG video delivery to IP and cost-savings – the one-box unit might allow for lower-cost or even no set-top boxes to be deployed. Today, the economic model for such deployments is only viable for households having three or more set-top boxes, only 17% of all U.S. digital cable households (14% of all broadband households).

Even as deployed separately, there are many synergies that the video-centric set-top box and the data-centric RG can leverage. It's probably one reason why a company such as Pace plc is purchasing Bewan, a residential gateway developer. Pace sees the acquisition as a way to enhance the converged services of operators and to allow entry into Middle Eastern and North African markets.

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