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Time to Opt For Smart Energy & Security, Says Ovum

By Marie Jones | Thursday | 16/06/2011

Consumers may baulk at the idea of paying more for additional services, but broadband service providers keen to grow their business with additional connected services would gain new business by targeting home security, smart energy control and media sharing.

This is the finding from new research conducted by telecoms analyst, Ovum, to gain insight on the uptake of new connected home services from broadband providers.

While email, techical support and PC security are currently the most popular services requested by customers, the interest in receiving home security and monitoring, smart energy control and meda sharing services by consumers shows potential, according to Ovum.

The key to realising this potential is however price, says Philpott. "As with all connected home services, low willingness to pay is a major factor."

"When it comes to home security, where broadband providers could potentially offer services such as monitoring and control via smartphones, our research found that 22 per cent of the Australian respondents would be interested in receiving this service. At the same time, only 17 percent of respondents would be willing to pay more than a month for $5 per month for it", said Michael Philpott, Principal Analyst.

Furthermore, only six per cent of Australians who expressed an interest in these connected services would be willing to pay the high monthly fees associated with the product that are currently on the market, said Philpott.

Smart energy solution is a very hot topic in Australia with 29 percent of respondents showing interest in the new technology.

Globally too, smart meters are amongst the fastest growing markets in smart grid technology market offering benefits to  households, utility companies, and others.

A key advantage is that consumption of energy, gas, water, and other services can be monitored from a remote location and accurate information can be provided for billing and the billing errors can be minimized.

However, says Philpott, most Australians are not yet willing to pay, with "42 percent of them stating they want it for free".

Another 20 per cent said a media sharing service, connecting all the devices used by the home owner would be something they would potentially like to receive from their broadband provider.

"Although starting from a low base, media sharing is another service with significant potential, in Australia. However, pricing is again an issue, with almost 50 percent of the consumers surveyed stating that they would expect to get this service for free."

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