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PayTV Operators and the Internet of

Trends and Opportunities
Susan Crouse, Director of Product Management
White Paper | June 2015


Alticast 2015!



The Internet of Things

Smart Homes


Pay TV Operator Participation

Centralized Gateway
Information Sharing Example: Health Care
Business-to-Business (B2B) IoT


The Evolving Model

The Role of Alticast in Addressing the IoT Market






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As operators seek to expand their business beyond content delivery, the
emerging Internet of Things (IoT) offers excellent opportunites to leverage
existing bandwidth, connectivity, and hardware presence in the home.
With their widespread presence in many homes, ownership of the fastest
internet pipes, and multi-media expertise, operators have an exciting
opportunity to firmly establish their presence in the modern household by
integrating the Internet of Things into their product offerings.

The Internet of Things

The IoT is a networking environment in which highly automated objects
interact with one another, while easing and enhancing the everyday life of
consumers. The IoT has already gained significant footholds in areas
such as home security systems and smart appliances, and promises to
extend far beyond the home front through retail interfaces and datasharing connections with health care professionals and other providers.
Enterprises in the shipping and large equipment businesses would claim
the idea that network-connected devices will be able to communicate with
each is hardly a new concept. Associated technology has been in use for
over 20 years in areas such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for
package and truck tracking. The difference now is that the IoT is
becoming more ubiquitous and pervasive for the average consumer.
Historically, the first applications marketed as IoT applications in the
home most frequently involved home security. Following along with a
similar purpose were lighting controls, and more recently furnace controls,
such as thermostats that reset themselves according to occupants' usage
A device that participates in the IoT differs from its conventional
counterparts in a number of ways:

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The device is connected to a network.

The device is composed of both hardware and software


The device can be controlled over its network connection.

The device is capable of interacting with other devices as well as

with humans.

Smart Homes
Buyers of new homes increasingly find that builders either include or offer
an option to buy various IoT connected devices. They may be for
controlling the furnace, or garage, or a security system of cameras in the
home. For each of these services there is a network interface for
In the home, devices enabled with network access can be controlled from
a computer console or remote device such as a cell phone, instead of
requiring direct interaction at the device itself. While some new
applications are designed with only a one-to-one connection in mind, for
example using the phone to close your garage door, IoT extends the
concept so devices can talk to each other, potentially coordinating
activities, or sharing data. For example, household devices could
schedule their usage to minimize energy use during high-peak times.
This could, for instance, ensure plenty of hot water for all the demands in
a household by means of a water heater that can trigger the dishwasher
or the washing machine at particular times of day, even taking into
consideration the occupants' arrival home so they are done and ready.
This progression from individually controlling each device (set the water
heater temperature) to issuing generalized instructions (follow these
guidelines for hot water usage) is a pattern that applies to several groups
of related devices in the household. Like the hot water example, the
HVAC system has evolved from "set the thermostat" to "manage climate
control according to these guidelines, even when I'm not at home."
Security systems, similarly, have progressed from "validate my security
code when I enter" to "monitor indoors and out, 24/7, with video and
sensors, making allowances for the movement of my pets, and alert me
wherever I am if anything suspicious occurs."
The logical destination of this evolution is a centralized gateway that
monitors all of the IoT traffic in the home, allowing centralized control for
the homeowner, who can lay down general rules to follow and set
thresholds so trivial activities can be handled by direct device-to-device
interactions, without personal involvement.
Object-to-object communication can extend beyond the boundaries of the
home. For example, imagine a packaged food that could provide
feedback to the food manufacturer and manufacturer of the oven that the
instructions did not work. Alternatively, the oven could track this with

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feedback so that next time it cooks the item, it adjusts the time or
temperature accordingly until it zeroes in on perfection.
Some sensors, such as CO2 alarms, are traditionally data collectors.
When empowered with smart technology and an IoT connection, a sensor
can both collect data and, when encountering a problem, generate an
alert through a network to a cell phone. Mobile things, such as fitness
wearables or cars, can also be included in the IoT.
One central aspect of IoT is that object-to-object networks are often
connected through the cloud, so that the sensors collect the data, send
that data through a gateway to the cloud, and the data can be dispersed
to other connected devices or to a data collection point. A great deal of
data is being created, collected and possibly used for multiple
constituents. Much of this data collection and dissemination goes
unnoticed by homeowners who use IoT for controlling devices, but there
are opportunities for other interested parties to collate data for larger
projects. For example, consider the case in which an operator could
report back that a certain brand and model of clothes dryer has a higher
incidence than others of fire. This could improve products, trigger recalls
and potentially even save lives.
General (anonymous) data from a neighborhood could be collected to
predict crime in large neighborhood areas that might affect how police
staffing is managed. As another example, scientists might notice a higher
than usual rate of CO2 alarms and wonder if there is some larger gas
leak from an unknown source. Cities are already improving traffic flow by
using sensor data to monitor traffic conditions, and in turn automate the
lights to reduce congestion.
These ideas exemplify the opportunity of the Internet of Things to affect
things outside the household by using big data generated from IoT data
An FTC report states that as of 2015, a remarkable number of connected
devices exist, on the order of 25 billion, and estimates that the number
will double in the next five years. Thats a lot of sensors and a lot of
opportunities for big data to find innovative ways to improve our lifestyle.
So whether the IoT provides a pop-up on your TV that your dryer is done
and pauses the TV so you can go get the dry clothes, or whether it makes
us a driverless society, or whether you can have a doctors appointment
from your home, its easy to predict that this technology has only
scratched the surface of possibilities.

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Pay TV Operator Participation

A few operators have already been selling security and other systems to
subscribers as IoT solutions. Once such services become widely
established, consumers will come to regard them as essential to the
working of the household. The operator has a number of advantages
already in place with regard to introducing, establishing, and providing
these services. Cable operators provide broadband service to a majority
of their customers, and the 'smart pipe' to the house may be the most
important thing an operator provides going forward.

Centralized Gateway
The fact that the operator has a box in the household that is already
connected to the smart pipe means that a central gateway is already in
place. As operators provide more and more video and data gateways for
consumers, these boxes will be even more robust for IoT management.
The central gateway offers a ready solution to the problem of an
individual gateway for every service in the house. A smart home that
begins with three individual gateways for three services may eventually
grow to a closet full of gateways, with all the accompanying control
complications and unnecessary energy usage, and the inability for those
systems to interact. The need for a centralized point of control will
manifest in short order. If there is a central gateway it also provides for a
better management of the collection of data from devices and the
optimization of the network for data transfer to the cloud.
In addition to the obvious convenience factor, a centralized gateway
offers efficiencies for the operator with regard to adding and testing new
devices. With the essential control of the household network, operators
are already set up to add services quickly and efficiently. The smart pipe,
by its nature, embodies important IoT principles such as security, privacy,
QoS, and reliability both in terms of uptime and in terms of playing nicely
with a variety of device types.
The television can act as a dashboard for IoT services. Instead of having
an application for every IoT service, they can be aggregated and
controlled from the remote on the couch or the cellphone from home or
away. In addition, the television can act as a thing itself, so when a
trigger comes in, say the doorbell rings, the television can not only display
the video of the person at the door, it can also pause the programming,

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allowing viewers to decide how to respond and then resume as they see
The operator already has a financial relationship with the household and
can create B2B relationships with the various entities that want to provide
additional services. The billing infrastructure is in place, so new services
can be aggregated into the existing billing structure, alleviating the
consumer from being billed by a number of IoT providers. The operator
can provide add-on services whether they are energy, security, or health
related, and can provide billing settlement to the various providers. This
creates a single point of billing, reduction in hardware controllers, and a
single point of interface for the consumer.
The operator can also use its consumer dashboard as a place for
consumable and hardware purchases that expand IoT services. Whether
selling light bulbs or sensors, having an easy way add those devices
through the same dashboard provides another way operators can expand
services and revenue. The portal also lets operators advertise new
Security is an area of tremendous concern and therefore an area of great
opportunity in which PayTV operators can leverage their wealth of past
experience in Internet security, firewalls, and digital rights management.
One of the most important roles that the operator can play is to serve as a
single point of security for the data that is passed not only around the
household and between devices, but up to the cloud to enable
communication with cellphones when the user is out of the home. The
householder should be able to establish central privacy policy to be
observed by all devices, including those not explicitly purchased, but
embedded within other packages.
Creating a single point of security for all the data and devices controlled in
a household can simplify and mollify the concerns of the consumer. No
one wants the cameras they install to be available for just anyone to see,
and certainly no on wants the public to be able to disable their home
security system or open their garage door. Security of IoT networks, data
and devices will be a high priority feature of any system sold on the
market. When services are aggregated by the operator, intrusion points
are consolidated to a single point of protection, reducing the number of
places vulnerable to possible intrusions.

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Information Sharing Example: Health Care

There is a ground swell of opportunity in the medical care industry, in
particular with the trend of aging in place to assist in the care of the
elderly. With IoT technolgy, doctors may begin to monitor patients to
ensure that they understand and are following the doctors instructions for
care without visiting the office. Interactive in-home post-surgical care
could provide a huge cost savings to hospitals that often must cope with
avoidable post-surgical emergency room visits. A connected visit could
improve the aftercare in the home and reduce returns to the hospital.
Operators have another opportunity to broaden offerings in this domain.
The operator can assist those who are unable to travel out of their homes
by supplying important connections to the outside world such as medical
alert services as well as more mundane shopping capabilities. In addition,
the operator can set up care and communication channels to family and
friends who provide care for house-bound individuals.
Security is key in opening up health care services in the home through
IoT networks. There are many new IoT enabled products coming on line
that can do diagnostics and provide feedback directly to the doctors
office. In this area security is tantamount to individual privacy. Providing
encrypted security that is verified and protected through accounts will be
necessary so that consumers feel the data transmitted is completely
secured and shared only through authorization by them to specific entities.

Business-to-Business (B2B) IoT

Operators are also involved in a variety of business level media delivery
arrangements for hospitality and universities. These are other areas
where they can consider enhancing services, whether it is through IoT
anywhere anytime, or more directly related opportunities for using their
media prowess for things like conferencing study sessions on campus by
connecting a group of students with mentors through video.

The Evolving Model

In an emerging field such as IoT connectivity, there are competing
'standards' for communication, including ZigBee, Z-Wave and others.
Various devices coming on the market often choose only one, so
gateways that want to aggregate services from a variety of sources will
have to understand which standards are essential to integrate. This

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important goal for PayTV operators for providing a system that can
support the most dominant standards, thus allowing devices that utilize
different standards to intercommunicate, reinforces the importance of a
unified system and gateway.
When it comes to implementing centralized gateways to accommodate
IoT, the operator community will need to identify connectivity standards
that can be realistically supported. Candidates include the AllSeen
Alliance based on Qualcomms AllJoyn code, and the Open Interconnect
Consortium (OIC), which includes Cisco and Samsung. CableLabs
recently demonstrated an initiative related to RDK to create a simplified
API that will allow for mulitple standards to exist in the home network.
In order to quickly and efficiently accommodate newly-available IoT-ready
devices, and thus monetize the emerging IoT infrastructure, operators
must pursue new partnerships with device vendors similar to the historical
relationships already in place with content providers.
As innovative technologies evolve, some technologies emerge as 'best of
breed'. Operators will have an opportunity to provide best-of-breed
solutions to their consumers by aggregating applications. Packages of
related functionalities could be offered to consumers in a kiosk-like
fashion, while not to limiting consumers to only one solution in a given
functional category.
When consumers integrate devices into their household, some will want
to build more advanced control. There is an opportunity to provide simple
if this than that (FTTT) tools to allow users to make their own programs
for their devices. A number of companies are already creating such tools,
so the consumer can easily create programs for the things they want to
control, while other consumers will want smart learning with little or no
programming. While this all seems fairly logical it will take time to perfect
just the right system to offer to consumers that provides choices, flexibility,
tools and security while enhancing their life.

The Role of Alticast in Addressing the IoT Market

Alticast is working with operators to help them expand their businesses
into the emerging IoT arena. The presence of existing infrastructure
presents a relatively fast path from the pipe and STBs already in
consumers' homes to a consolidated gateway. Alticast provides myriad
areas of expertise that enable operators to deliver the IoT to the
consumer. Alticast facilitates the development of IoT solutions through
integration of the sensors, the STB/Gateway and the cloud, while
providing a secure environment that is essential for complete IoT delivery.

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Operators are prime candidates for the central delivery of IoT services,
whether provided directly by the operators or by relationships they have
created then pass on to their consumers. They can be a single point of
communication for the consumer for troubleshooting problems, they are
the central billing contact, they can aggregate the services and hardware,
and they can insure the security of the data, as well provide a conduit to
share data as the consumer permits. The operator can set up the right
relationship with the consumer and other big data users to provide
anonymous data sets to different entities for research or other purposes
that might provide energy savings or safety improvements.
The burgeoning IoT world will grow dramatically over the coming years.
As standards and best-of-breed solutions are identified, operators will be
in a good position to offer a library of choices for the consumer in a onestop-shop. It may take a bit of time to get the stars to all align for this idea
to play out to fruition, but the reasoning seems fairly solid that operators
will be a central player in IoT home solutions.

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For those who would like to learn more about the Internet of Things (IoT),
here are some good starting points:

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Internet of things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, FTC

Staff Report, Jan 2015.

Cable in the Internet of Things (, by Clarke Stevens, Principal Architect,


The Internet of Things World Forum,, October


IoT: A New Business Model, John Carlucci at INTX 2015,


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Tel +31 20 240 3190
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Tel +48 (71) 337 24 77

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