Things we learned this week: IoT comes home, BT and Sky lock horns and Ofcom's iron fist

Things we learned this week: IoT comes home, BT and Sky lock horns and Ofcom's iron fist

Home is where the hub is

This week Panasonic announced it will be launching its connected home hub in the UK. Although instead of focusing on smart buttons or hardware, Panasonic chose to look at the bigger picture and create a system to connect everything.

Many companies are moving full steam ahead in the IoT space, from computer chips to operating systems, manufacturers are spearheading the drive into the market. However this innovation means very little without a complete home system to connect it all together.

Even with a hub to connect the smart home together, it still remains a little detached from the consumer. With new technology popping up every week it’s definitely exciting….but is it convincing enough to find a place in everyone’s homes? Using a two way camera as a babysitter is very different from using a smartphone to turn on a light.

While Panasonic markets the home hub as a way of ‘achieving peace of mind’, it will be interesting to see whether it can achieve sales.

BT clear the ‘smokescreen’

BT upped the ante in its war of words with Sky this week, accusing the company of hiding behind a ‘smokescreen’ of comments relating to separating BT from Openreach. While Sky has challenged BT’s position in the broadband market, the telecoms giant has now questioned Sky’s dominance in the pay TV market.

The comments could be seen as BT’s way of taking the spotlight off its Openreach division, adopting a different approach by publically tackling Sky’s comments head on. Interestingly, the majority of Mobile readers polled that Openreach should be split from BT into separate company.

It will be interesting to watch how this on-going battle affects Sky in the future, with the company set to enter the mobile market with its MVNO. Sky will be stepping into a market that BT could be set to dominate, pending its merge with EE, and further clashes could be on the horizon.

The million pound differentiator

This week the regulator fined EE £1m for failing to follow regulatory rules relating to handling customer complaints. The announcement saw Ofcom once again put its foot down, establishing its ‘tough stance’ on the telecoms industry. While the £1m fine is significantly larger than Three’s £250,000 fine in 2014 for the same failings, it will be interesting to see how the sum really affects EE.

Ofcom has previously claimed to be a ‘soft touch’ regulator, but its challenge to EE has revealed its iron fist. It seems the fine will do more for the regulator then for the network. While EE expressed disappointment over the announcement, it’s difficult to say whether consumers know about its complaints handling.

Will EE’s next quarter results see churn figures sky rocket following the fine? Probably not. The network continue to win in terms of coverage and price, at present those are the real differentiators. However while one fine won’t make waves, it could just be the initial splash that is needed to see the tide change. If Ofcom continues its crackdown, it’s only a matter of time before the consumer sits up and listens and starts looking for a new differentiator, one based on service.

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