AT&T Limits Retail Opportunities For Home-Control Service


New Orleans - CE retailers won't profit from AT&T's planned national launch of a home security, monitoring and automation system, at least not initially, and many home-A/V installers might not get a chance to profit from it at all.

Kevin Petersen, senior VP of AT&T's Digital Life group, said AT&T plans initially to offer the system through interactive displays in AT&T Wireless stores as well as through AT&T's website, but he told TWICE that he also sees the possibility later on to sell the system through the company's indirect wireless retailers as well.

For installation, AT&T will hire licensed security installers and, as needed, tap licensed plumbers and electricians, Petersen said. That would give home-A/V installers, however, no opportunity to profit from the AT&T rollout unless they also install security.

Licensed security installers would install the security system as such other system components as Z-Wave modules that plug into wall outlets. Electricians would be needed to install such products as Z-Wave light switches, and plumbers would be needed to install a device that shuts off a home's main water valve if a leak is detected somewhere in the house.

During a press event on the eve of today's CTIA Wireless 2012, the company also revealed more details about the system, including the ability to control home systems from within the house via Android and iOS apps running on tablets and smartphones.

From within the house, consumers could control lighting, door locks, motorized shades and thermostats as well as turn on and off home appliances and sound systems connected to wireless Z-Wave modules.

Wireless security cameras would be controlled via Wi-Fi, which would also stream security-camera video to the handheld devices. Contact-closure systems would be controlled via one-way RF at other frequencies to perform such functions as shutting off a home's main water valve when a leak is detected.

Besides enabling users to control systems from tablets and phones while they're in a home, the AT&T system would also enable users to remotely monitor and manage home systems through any web-enabled device. Users could remotely unlock doors to let in repair people, turn off lights and view security-camera video. Users would also receive alerts while off-site when a security sensor is tripped, a moisture sensor discovers a leak, or smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors sound off.

Trials of the AT&T Digital Life service, on display at CTIA Wireless 2012, are planned in Dallas and Atlanta this summer and will be rolled out nationally later on. A timetable wasn't announced.

The service will use AT&T


service to connect the home to the Internet, but in the trials, subscribers can use their own wired broadband connections.


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