Many of us are familiar with VoSky Technologies the company behind the business class Skype gateways allowing a company to leverage the myriad benefits of Skype within their corporate communications infrastructure. If you need to catch up, I invite you to read an article written on the topic of Skype trunking by yours truly about a month ago.
So while Skype and VoSky are likely familiar names, most people are likely not aware of the fact that the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Actiontec Electronics, a leading provider of broadband connectivity solutions for consumers and broadband service providers.
In a recent meeting with Lesley Kirchman Director of Marketing and Brian Henrichs VP of Business Development for the company I became aware the company’s tagline is “Solutions For a Digital Life.”
The company has been around since 1993 when it was in the analog modem business. Over time they evolved to do what a few companies have been successful at… Listening to telco needs, delivering on them and actually having the telcos buy.
The company has sold over five million devices and has roughly 300 people in their Sunnyvale, CA headquarters in the US. I think of the company as the Linksys of the service provider world as they sell gateways in countless DSL varieties, IPTV solutions and even FiOS solutions for Verizon.
Some of the more recent products allow you to transport data and entertainment within a house via wireless, HomePlug and numerous other technologies.
Another area of focus is technologies such as TR69 and WT140 which help can enhance the consumer experience. In addition the company’s message to service providers is as consumer devices become more intelligent, you should position yourself in the center of it al by partnering with the company.
What sorts of services are we talking about here? Backing up music and photos stored on a NAS box. Then there is the ability to help provide multiroon MAS and DVR solutions.
As service providers begin to embrace and supply IPTV solutions it becomes obvious service providers are getting more and more connected with consumer networks and as such carriers should look at this evolving space as an opportunity.
Much like Apple transformed itself from Apple Computer to Apple music leader and then mobile phone monarch, service providers have an opportunity to ride the consumer electronics bandwagon to greater profits.
Of course the biggest fear in going down the path of getting into consumer networks is the cost of support and Actiontec tells me their systems are at a point where their technology provides the remote diagnostics needed to help providers back up their service with quality and remote diagnostics.
My thoughts? Simple. Service providers do not want to be dumb pipe providers. They will tell you this ad nauseam. Actiontec is one of a slew of companies looking to help carriers add tremendous value to consumer networks. The service provider who stumbles upon the magic consumer electronics suite of services is poised to make a great deal of money and set the stage for the evolution of the carrier into carrier 2.0.

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