By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK — AT&T’s growth includes the addition of new wireless services for the home and car, including the wireless delivery of subscribers’ U-verse programming to vehicles, AT&T executives announced.
The carrier also plans to expand AT&T’s 4G LTE network to 300 million people by the end of 2014, or 50 million more than previously announced, thanks to its acquisition of new spectrum, the executives said during an investors’ conference here.
In outlining other revenue and profit-boosting strategies, executives said it plans to launch its Digital Life IP-based home automation and security service commercially in early 2013 following trials this year in two markets. The service uses smartphones and tablets to control and monitor security, lighting, HVAC and other home systems remotely and from within the home.
AT&T will spend $8 billion to make its wireless network more dense, adding 10,000 more macro cell sites and building more than 40,000 neighborhood, or small, cells to improve capacity, accelerate data speeds, and improve in-building coverage.
In detailing new wireless services for the home and car, AT&T Mobility president/CEO Ralph de la Vega said the company would expand the connected-car concept beyond current telematics services focused on “front-seat” safety and security services. AT&T will add such valueadded services as delivering U-verse programming to the back seat, accessing games, obtaining real-time traffic updates, using voice commands to send data files, and the like.
AT&T will announce deals with several major automakers soon, he said.
The potential for AT&T’s IP-based home-control service is large, he said, because the penetration of home security and monitoring is only 20 percent because of a lack of affordable solutions. A wireless IP-based system cuts investment costs in half compared to wired systems, he said.
The company, which plans packages starting at $29/ month, will be a disruptive force in a security industry that is $18 billion in size and enjoys margins of 35 to 40 points, he noted.
Also for the home, AT&T has leverages its wireless network to roll out optional wireless LTE-based home voice service to homes, which can use their existing home phones for voice. Data will eventually be added to the home service, de la Vega said. AT&T recently expanded this offer nationwide through its 2,200 company-owned retail stores as well as dealer locations.
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