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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

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

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