Deutsche Telekom is to further enhance its QIVICON smart home platform by adding support for HomeMatic IP by the second half of this year and DECT ULE by the end of this year/start of next year. The platform already supports the HomeMatic and ZigBee protocols, as well as IP-based devices such as cameras.
The German mobile operator undertook the groundwork development for the secure, open, and cross-vendor QIVICON smart home platform in 2013. To date, it has already attracted more than 40 partner companies, including brands such as Miele, Samsung, EnBW, e-Q3, Kärcher, Logitech, Osram, Philips, Sonos, and Netatmo.
A recent addition to the network is Gigaset, which manufactures fixed-network telephony solutions for consumers and business customers and provides cloud-based security solutions for the smart home.
QIVICON has also had international success in its hunt for partners. The first international partner to launch a smart home offering based on QIVICON was the Austrian utility company eww in 2015. Dutch telecoms company KPN has now followed suit, launching its KPN Smartlife portfolio on the same sound basis.
Deutsche Telekom has stated it wants to offer its customers a standard of data privacy and security that will provide proper protection for the connected home. To that effect, it said it is constantly testing its smart home portfolio applying very strict criteria.
Independent institute AV-TEST GmbH recently subjected the QIVICON smart home platform and Magenta SmartHome app to rigorous testing, giving it an “Excellent security” rating, just as it did in the previous year (03/2016).
New partner models
The company believes different partner models will help the smart home make its breakthrough. The open platform will not just benefit hardware manufacturers and sales partners – companies that offer their own solutions will also be interested in a partnership.
Deutsche Telekom can now offer companies a range of partner models to take into account their strategic alignment and what they bring to the market. As a result, companies can step into the growing smart home market quickly and easily, and benefit from the new options, for example:
• Platform partners develop their own smart home application and market it under their own brand or integrate their service into another partner’s portfolio. They can dock directly with the QIVICON smart home platform and therefore build their own offering based on this.
• Whitelabel partners, on the other hand, use an all-inclusive offering that includes the QIVICON Home Base, freely selectable hardware, and an app that is adapted to their own branding. They market their solutions through their own distribution channels.
• Product partners integrate cameras, door locks, lighting, and other devices into both the QIVICON smart home platform and Magenta SmartHome. These devices can be controlled and intelligently networked with other components via the apps offered by Telekom and other partners.
• Marketing partners can benefit from the growth in the smart home market by intelligently linking their own portfolio with Magenta SmartHome.
• Retail partners benefit from the burgeoning interest in the smart home by incorporating the Telekom portfolio into their sales operations.
Deutsche Telekom is taking a lead role in the Smart Home market through its open platform QIVICON, which allows very different companies to work together. “If we stick with conventional proprietary solutions in the growth market for the smart home, we’re going to lose out to international providers. We need to recognize the diversity of technical solutions as an opportunity and use it as such,” said Niek Jan van Damme, Board member of Deutsche Telekom, speaking in Berlin. “Germany and Europe need to face up to the competition and win it,” he emphasised.
Routers as control centres
As the Board member responsible for innovation at Deutsche Telekom, van Damme highlighted the significance of the integrated portfolio and its open platform as a “playing field” for innovative solutions and companies.
He argued that if consumers are going to continue to opt for new products and services, they will need to be offered simple and reliable solutions that can be combined and will grow with their needs.
Van Damme was also keen to point out that nobody needs to start from scratch, as the smart home portfolio at Telekom is already established on the mass market in Germany. The portfolio’s simplicity is the key to success, which is why Telekom and its partners are making it simple and straightforward for consumers to network their home.
Indeed, consumers will, in future, be able to use upcoming router models to control their smart home directly. Telekom is working to integrate the relevant functions into the devices, which will become part of the standard portfolio at Deutsche Telekom.
Magenta smart home
The company is also integrating smart home features into its Magenta product family, making the smart home a central element in the company’s portfolio alongside mobile and fixed-network telephony, Internet, and IPTV.
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