Deutsche Telekom, partners on track with smart home

Monday 19 December 2016 | 12:18 CET | Background
Deutsche Telekom is working with partners to develop Europe’s leading smart home platform and capitalise on the opportunities in the burgeoning market. This year has been an important one for the company as it added many new partners while launching new products and services. 

Deutsche Telekom is aiming to take the lead in smart home with its open platform Qivicon, which creates a basis for very different companies to work together. 

In February, Deutsche Telekom announced five new partners for the Qivicon Smart Home platform. These were Smappee, Plugwise, Gruenspar, E Wie Einfach and Stadtwerke Karlsruhe, bringing the total number of Qivicon partners to more than 40 across the EMEA region since its launch in 2013. The five new partners are all energy companies offering their own energy-saving products which integrate into the Qivicon Smart Home ´╗┐platform.

A few months later, DT held a meeting under the banner "Smart Home – Smart Partnerships" to find even more partners to support its platform. The open platform will not just benefit hardware manufacturers and sales partners; companies that offer their own solutions may also be interested in a partnership, the German operator said. In August, DT added the Italian company Bitron Video as its third international partner, after Austria’s Eww and Dutch operator KPN.

Refresh Qivicon Home Base

At the same time, DT launched its new Qivicon Home Base 2.0, which aims to keep up with the various wireless protocols on the international market. While the different models all have an identical outward appearance, they differ in terms of their pre-installed protocols. For example, the model designed for the German market, and several other markets, already includes the protocols HomeMatic, Homematic IP and ZigBee Pro, and DECT ULE was also integrated. Another model includes ZigBee Pro and Z-Wave radio modules.

All versions of the new Home Base 2.0 can be connected to home DSL routers either by cable or Wi-Fi. The Home Base 2.0 has two USB ports for connecting other devices. New products compatible with Qivicon will include remote-control products in the Logitech Harmony lineup, including the Harmony Hub and the Harmony app. With these products, users can control their TV sets, lighting and heating systems and, with the help of wireless socket adapters, electrical appliances. Netatmo's weather station is also Qivicon-compatible and can be combined with light-control systems from Osram or Philips.

DT first unveiled the Qivicon Home Base in late 2013. The equipment works with any broadband connection to coordinate all smart home devices and functions within the household. Users can operate and control their individual devices with apps from the Qivicon partners for smartphones, tablets and PCs, both at home and on the go. In September, DT announced that it will integrate Amazon's personal assistant software Alexa in its Qivicon platform. As a result, customers will be able to control their lights, blinds, alarm systems and other devices with their voice via Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo.

Recognized leader

According to research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, DT has broken new ground in the connected home market with its Qivicon platform. "The QIVICON open platform combines a secured network with reliable control to offer comfort and convenience to end users. By involving many connected home vendors in the development of an intelligent home network, Deutsche Telekom has created a milestone in the connected home ecosystem," the researcher said.

Berg Insight predicts that the number of smart home connections in Europe will grow at a CAGR of 54 percent between 2015 and 2020 to reach 44.9 million homes -- equivalent to 20 percent of all European households. Berg Insight named Deutsche Telekom, Verisure, eQ-3 and Loxone as major vendors of comprehensive whole-home smart home systems in Europe.

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