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New Broadband Protocol Turns Routers into IoT Gateways

Greenwave Systems is offering its AXON software, using the User Services Platform (USP) protocol, to provide internet service providers with the ability to sell IoT solutions to their customers, leveraging internet routers.
By Claire Swedberg

TR-069 was a relatively slow mechanism intended to update a router's firmware, but without the need to quickly move a large amount of data. "The whole paradigm shifts with USP," Spets says. "We kept intact the data-modeling framework for TR-069, so they can still use the same parameters." But now, he says, with the AXON software using the new protocol, ISPs can do much more.

With USP-based systems, the routers would provide a connection, from the ISP's back-end software to the devices in the router's network. They could potentially also transmit data via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Bluetooth mesh, ZigBee, LTE cellular or Z-Wave, if the related hardware were built into the router. "This opens up new service options for them," Spets explains. "They can have an all-new market of revenue streams" for home network management.

Tim Spets
A simple example would be lighting. A switch built into a light bulb could transit its status to a router. The service provider could offer an app to the home owner in order to manage the switching on and off of the light automatically, or with his or her mobile phone. That means the switch could receive transmission from any USP endpoint to the router instructing it to activate or deactivate.

AXON offers services beyond the USP protocol, Spets says, that can include security services to run an app directly on a router, as opposed to in the cloud, for instance. The software also provides edge analytics via AXON Predict, providing a resource related to data traffic to and from the router in any specific area, and helping the service provider to improve its own offerings.

Home intelligence would be a relatively new market for the ISP market, but it's one in which businesses are showing an interest, Spets reports. "Service providers are huge, complex operations," he says, adding that he expects the shift of home intelligence at these companies "to be a calculated process."

The current focus for service providers, according to Spets, is to solve problems rather than offer new technology. While he says there is little limit to the types of services that could be provided, once the router can communicate with many devices within IoT-based systems, there are currently four or five use cases that show real value to consumers. "We have the mechanics in place," he states. "Now, it's a matter of staring to move forward."

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