What’s next for TR-069?

 jason_wallsThe following is a guest blog from Jason Walls, Director of Technical Marketing for QA Cafe, and co-chair of the BroadbandHome Working Group at the Broadband Forum, the creator of TR-069, the CPE WAN Management Protocol.

The Broadband Forum was both proud and humbled to win the Broadband World Forum’s “Outstanding Contributor to Broadband Success” award in 2012 for the CPE WAN Management Protocol that you know of as TR-069. This year, TR-069 celebrates its 10 year anniversary, managing a projected 300 million devices worldwide, and has solidified itself as the premier network management protocol for both home and business broadband deployments.

In that time, we’ve moved the protocol through four revisions, and have continually added new interfaces and services to the CWMP data model – the specifications used to describe a subscriber network’s capabilities and manageability – keeping pace with ever expanding market for broadband services.

In addition, the Broadband Forum’s CPE certification program for TR-069, the “BBF.069” program, has been successful in ensuring that TR-069 devices work, and work well, in today’s heterogeneous broadband deployments.

TR-069 created an entirely new market for the management of CPE, and has enabled many of the most successful and new companies that you see at the Broadband World Forum. It began as a configuration protocol targeted towards home gateways, initially focused on performing firmware upgrades and initial provisioning of the subscriber network, such as WiFi. Since then, it has expanded to include a host of service specific devices, such as video set top boxes, home and business voice devices, network attached storage, femto cells, and more. Furthermore, TR-069’s robust proxy support allows nearly any broadband enabled device to be managed.

What does the future look like for TR-069? The biggest words in the broadband world are Network Function Virtualization (or NFV), and the growing world of the Internet of Things, commonly referred to “machine-to-machine” technologies or “M2M”. Both of these two game-changing technologies change the definition of what a managed device is, particularly if its functions are spread out over multiple pieces of physical hardware, or if some of its functions are moved to the cloud.

With the emergence of the “Internet of Things”, we’ll be looking at allowing TR-069 to operate on more kinds of devices with different needs. These constrained devices are poised to number in the billions, with hundreds of them in any single home.

It’s for these reasons that the future of CWMP is not merely in “managed devices”, but “managed services”, creating a complete picture for the service provider to easily deploy and  monetize more broadband services. Managing and controlling these devices and the services that will use them is our next task in TR-069, with its solid foundations and rigorous, detailed information models.

We’re excited to see what the next 10-20 years of TR-069 will bring, and we encourage anyone that has the passion for these technologies to join and participate in the Broadband Forum to help us shape the next greatest addition to the success of broadband services worldwide.

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