Home > Future Business Ideas, Innovation, Internet of Things > The next-generation of customer premise equipment generates revenue

The next-generation of customer premise equipment generates revenue


Traditionally telecom operators subsidise the cost of broadband modems and set top boxes to get customers subscribing to their services. What if this customer premise equipment or CPE could be made a lot more innovative and go from a cost to a revenue generator?

How to generate revenue from a CPE?

What if it would be possible to put an app store in your CPE and have consumers and small and medium businesses buy apps for their CPE, just like for their mobile. Sounds as a far off thing? It is closer than you think. Thanks to Snappy Ubuntu Core it should be possible in the coming months to do just this. Developers can create Snappy Apps or Snaps and sell them through a Snap Store to consumers and businesses. The first prototypes should be on MWC in Barcelona.

What would you sell on a CPE?

Anything that adds value to users. Ranging from security related Snaps (firewalls, antivirus, VPN, Tor gateways, etc.), wan optimisers, parental control by age/religion/political inclination, entertainment, IoT apps, security solutions, anything basically. Your imagination is the only limitation. Snaps allow for complete personalisation and give a stickiness to CPEs that should dramatically reduce churn.

Add to this that lots of functionality can be moved from the CPE to some cloud solution on the other side of the broadband network, called proximity cloud. Apps on the proximity cloud can work together with the CPEs allowing for complex content delivery networking, ad-hoc VPN and VLANs, better solutions for NAT/DHCP/etc. This should allow for lots more complex apps and as such more revenue potential, lower cost CPEs and even revenue coming from others. Proximity clouds that allow custom apps to be put on the network edges are so much more versatile than standard CDN that do generic video caching. Netflix type of companies can pay to put Netflix specific apps on the edges and pay per use. But not only the big ones can buy edge app capacity but any company. It is something that cloud providers can not easily do because their edges are a lot further away from end-users, so operators would have the advantage for once…

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