Total Telecom met with Michael Himmels, Vice President Engineering, devolo AG, to discuss the key trends affecting the market today

What are the key challenges ISPs and carriers are facing in the market at the moment? 

For years, many carriers and ISPs focused on providing broadband Internet connections to the home – the faster the better. Meanwhile they realised, this is not sufficient if they want to keep their customers satisfied. They understand, the challenge is to deliver high bandwidth within home networks that are getting more and more complex. 

The reasons are obvious: Current trends have a major impact on home networking. Video-on-demand traffic increases rapidly, Cisco predicts a CAGR of IP video traffic of 26 percent until 2021 and the number of devices connected to IP networks grows extremely fast. But many home networks cannot keep up with the growing demand for bandwidth. Moreover, they cannot provide seamless coverage across the entire home to numerous devices, enabling users to consume the service they want, wherever they want. 

This affects the customer experience and many clients will blame their provider for it. ISPs and carriers therefore address this issue with a stronger focus on home networking solutions that unleash the power of gigabit access. In doing so, they also face the fact, every housing situation and every installation is different, with dozens of devices being part of an individual network. Handling this complexity in large scale deployments is an additional challenge, ISPs and carriers have to deal with.


How is devolo positioning itself in the market? 

devolo addresses the issues, ISPs and carriers are facing, by offering high performance home networking solutions, that combine the best technologies available: powerline communications (PLC) as strong backbone and intelligent WiFi technology. We have pioneered the market for inhome PLC, and over the last 15 years we became a trusted partner for international carriers and ISPs. 

Using the powerline in the backhaul, we turn nearly every power outlet in a house or flat into highspeed WiFi access points. PLC overcomes the limitations, pure WiFi technology always has, because thick walls and ceilings block the signal. Thus, users experience the best possible WiFi connection right where they need it. What is more: devolo avoids, spectrum is occupied by WiFi backchannels. This is important, because for most applications WiFi will continue to be the preferred way to connect – and saving spectrum is essential. 

Besides, devolo addresses many challenges that occur, when operating WiFi environments. Our proven WiFi move technology deals with sticky client issues and synchronised configurations. Soon, our advanced Smart WiFi technology and additional features paving the way towards self-organising networks, will further improve the performance of our home networking solutions. This helps us to reinforce our market position.  


What trends are you seeing emerging in the global telecoms sector at the moment? 

Advanced home networking solutions and access technologies will deliver higher bandwidth and stronger coverage, that is more or less a linear trend. But it will be interesting to see how the way, customers use services will change. We already witness, the lines between online shopping services, streaming services and even smart home deployments are getting blurry and they all merge into one service offering. This process will continue, as the convergence between mobile and fixed networks but also home networks, smart home and other services is evolving fast.  


What predictions do you have for the industry over the course of the next 12-18 months?

Delivering end-to-end services in heterogenous home networking scenarios will be in focus. Thereby, mechanisms allowing networks to self-organise, are key. But we also need to work on the protocols and standards that form the basis.    


What new markets are particularly interesting to devolo at the moment? 

In the B2C sector we expect a strong positive development of the market for smart home products. So far, market penetration might not be as expected, but vendors and analysts agree, the market potential is extremely high. We can leverage it faster, if we manage to make people understand, how they benefit from smart home technology. This is one of the reasons, why devolo is partnering with large insurance companies like Generali: Together we combine special tariffs, assistance services and our portfolio of actors and sensors to create new smart insurance offerings that directly improve client’s the safety.  

Apart from that, in the B2B sector we help shaping the transformation of the energy infrastructure towards smart grids by developing smart metering products as well as hardware for highly secure communications within the power-grid.  


Michael Himmels, VP Engineering, develo AG will be giving a keynote address at this year’s Gigabit Access event. Michael will share his expertise on how home networks can open up opportunities for operators to improve their NPS and customer relationships. Held in Brussels from the 10-11 April, Gigabit Access will bring together the key stakeholders from Europe’s fibre broadband sector. Click Here for the full agenda.

To meet with the develo team, Click Here