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H&ONS Goes Back to its Roots

Beginning July 1, 2021, we are going back to our roots. When we started in 2003, we started as a networking company. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough of a market back then for networking services in the home, so we expanded into the Audio & Video sector and have grown from there.

Over the last 5 years, we have seen a strong demand for networking needs, whether simply getting Internet service to new rooms in a home or installing a full scale home network infrastructure. Therefore, we have decided to take only network related work going forward. This includes hard wiring (Ethernet) & wireless (WiFi) work. There are many AV companies out there that focus their services on TVs and projectors, audio and other products, so we will leave that work to them.  In addition to AV companies, there are security companies who install cameras, video doorbells and other equipment of that nature.  We have found that people really need someone who understands residential networking and how to design and install it right. In addition to this major change, we will also discontinue working with contractors on remodeling projects where we have to work our schedule around other trades. It has been a major challenge over the years trying to take care of our clients while anticipating when a contractor needs us back.

With these changes, we will also be able to perform service calls expediently. Service calls for existing clients can be performed on any past installations, including AV and camera work.

We will have at least one day a week set aside for service calls so we can better respond to issues our clients face. We will also keep Mondays open for writing estimates from site surveys performed the week before. This should result in faster turnaround of estimates and scheduling of networking installations.

We really appreciate the variety of business that our customers have brought to us over the years.  We know that these changes will result in some of our customers having to go elsewhere for projects, but in looking at the overall scheme of things, we feel these changes need to be made at this time.

 

Sales of Networking Gear Rise

Likely driven by the work from home and distance learning trends, the PowerHouse Alliance distribution group recently created a white paper discussing the emerging trend in consumer networking. This white paper was based on a survey of over 55 distributors analyzing sales data from the start of 2020 through the end of 2020.

Using these distributor interviews and sales data pulled from 2020, they anticipate a 54% increase in home networking in 2021. In addition, they project a 15% increase in home control/automation and 4K displays.

Manufacturers have done a great job at keeping up with spikes in demand, in spite of the difficulty finding integrators to actually perform the installations. However, we are seeing inventory levels of network electronics dropping due to the backup of container ships at the ports.  This may start to have an effect on projects in the near future.   Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to produce and get their products out while these new trends encourage more AV integrators to focus on the networking and not just the audio and video aspect of business.

Home & Office Network Solutions has been specializing in networking since its inception in 2003.

Smart Living Requires Broad Wi-Fi Coverage and Bandwidth

The average home network wasn’t built to handle the number of connected devices that consumers have needed to use during the pandemic, especially when multiple family members are taking advantage of multiple services — streaming media, e-learning, videoconferencing — all at the same time.

As you know if you’ve read previous e-newsletters or even been to our website, we have seen an increased demand for commercial-grade networks in the home. Generally, this need doesn’t come from someone asking for more hard wiring or additional access points, it comes from people simply wanting the spinning wheel to go away when they’re trying to watch a movie or they are tired of their video call buffering. Last spring and summer we also received a lot of requests for connectivity outdoors, where many were working and studying, or where automated lights, cameras, and more are increasingly part of the smart living experience.

Homes large and small now function like corporate offices and require more internal bandwidth and Wi-Fi coverage, in the form of a powerful router, high-speed network switches and multiple, strategically placed wireless access points inside and outside of the home.

This need hasn’t created just a huge demand on our design and installation services, it has created a huge demand for the products we install, preferably Ubiquiti systems. More and more often the products sell out at our distributors within weeks of them receiving them, to the point that we order as soon as we get a contract. Even then, sometimes we have to go directly to the manufacturer in the hopes that they are keeping some in stock, but then we wait longer for supplies to be delivered when they are manufactured across the country.

This demand is not going to end any time soon, so all we can do is be honest about timelines and ask for patience, which we are fortunate to see from the majority of our clients. Once these network systems are in place in the home, clients forget what it was like to have Internet problems.

2021 Trends in Technology

Deloitte Global recently released its 2021 TMT Predictions report, which examines trends likely to change the way we work and live. Below are five that may particularly affect the consumer landscape.

5G Myths
Although data shows that consumer health will not be adversely affected by 5G radio waves, Deloitte predicts that up to a third of people around the world will worry about it anyway. To assuage consumer concerns, the telecom industry should communicate with legislators, be proactive on social media, and reach out to vertical sectors to explain how 5G works. For more on 5G, don’t miss the CES® panel “5G’s First Year: From Insight to Innovation.”

VR Comes to Education
Overall spending on augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology (collectively called XR) — headsets, software and services, including purchases by consumers, rose in 2020 to US$12 billion globally, and is expected to grow at 50% annually to 2024. Will we reach a tipping point for education? COVID-19 has forced multiple schools to use XR since in-person training wasn’t possible.

Virtual Doctor Visits
Five percent of all patient visits worldwide will be video calls in 2021, and the market for pure-play telehealth virtual visit solutions (both video and non-video) will reach US$8 billion. More than US$33 billion of medical-grade home health care technology — mainly therapeutic and monitoring solutions and including FDA-approved smartwatches — will be sold in 2021, up almost 20% over 2019. For additional insights, we encourage you to tune into Deloitte’s CES panel, “The Road to DIY Consumer Health.”

The Hyperquantified Athlete
By the end of 2021, multiple professional sports leagues will establish new formal policies around the collection, use and commercialization of player data. This can drive fan engagement and create new revenue streams from licensing the data, especially for gambling. One scenario is an app that would enable betting during games, based on data from player wearables.

8k TVs
In 2021, Deloitte Global predicts that more than one million 8K TVs will be sold, representing approximately $3.3 billion around the world and will almost double 2020 sales. Consumers will buy 8K TVs for four main reasons:
• Futureproofing. There’s little 8K content now, but when there is, buyers will be ready.
• Early adopter or the”cool factor.”
• To consumers, 8K just sounds better than 4K.
• Many cutting-edge TV sets happen to also be 8K.

Source: CEPro

WiFi 6E Certified

If you think that you just heard about Wi-Fi 6 you are correct, but the standard is already undergoing changes. Wi-Fi 6 will evolve into Wi-Fi 6E in the near future. Here is the catch. If your device (phone, laptop, TV, etc.) is NOT a Wi-Fi 6 device you will not be able to take advantage of the performance increases described below without buying new devices.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has launched its Wi-Fi 6E certification program for devices equipped to transmit signals on the newly opened 6GHz band. This will set the stage for a flood of new, next-gen devices capable of tapping into additional bandwidth at the fastest speeds of Wi-Fi.

With enough spectrum to accommodate seven 160 MHz channels at once, that 6GHz band is much wider than the 2.4 and 5GHz bands most Wi-Fi users are already familiar with — and without any older-generation devices slowing things down, it’ll act as sort of an exclusive superhighway for devices equipped to take advantage.

“Wi-Fi 6E will see rapid adoption in 2021 with more than 338 million devices entering the market, and nearly 20 percent of all Wi-Fi 6 device shipments supporting 6GHz by 2022,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC. “This year, we expect to see new Wi-Fi 6E chipsets from several companies, and a variety of new Wi-Fi 6E smartphones, PCs and laptops in the first quarter of 2021 followed by TVs and VR product announcements midyear.”

With standards for Wi-Fi 6E now incorporated into Wi-Fi Certified 6, the Wi-Fi Alliance hopes to spur that process along by ensuring new 6E devices stay secure and fully interoperable, regardless of region or manufacturer.

“Consumers take it on faith that if you go buy a Wi-Fi device, it’s going to connect to your router,” said Kevin Robinson, a Wi-Fi Alliance spokesperson. “The reason that is in fact the case is because of Wi-Fi Certified. The industry puts a lot of value in getting devices through that testing so that the end experience is that everything works together.”
In addition to interoperability, Wi-Fi Certified focuses on standardizing security protocols. For instance, with Wi-Fi 6E, devices will be required to support the latest protocol, WPA3, which promises better defense against attempts to brute force your network’s password, among other improvements.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/wi-fi-industry-standardizes-next-gen-6ghz-connections-ahead-of-ces/