AT&T Unleashes Digital Life Service in 15 Markets

Carrier to Expand its Home Security/Automation Combo to 50 Markets by Year’s End

Following a brief delay, AT&T has entered the fragmented home security and automation market by launching AT&T Digital Life in 15 markets while setting plans to introduce it into as many as 50 markets by the end of 2013.

The service, which lets customers access the system remotely via PCs, tablets and smartphones, is now available in Atlanta; Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; Denver and Boulder, Colo.;  Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Francisco, Calif.; Miami; Philadelphia; Seattle; St. Louis; and parts of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area.

Following trials in Dallas and Atlanta last year, AT&T announced in January that it would roll Digital Life into eight U.S. markets by March using wireless control panels and back-office provisioning and application management systems from Cisco Systems. The service runs on AT&T’s own U.S.-based monitoring centers. AT&T Digital Life is also partly based on a home automation platform the carrier obtained from its 2010 acquisition of Xanboo, an AT&T official confirmed.

Pricing for AT&T Digital Life starts at $29.99 per month, plus $149.99 for equipment and installation, for the company’s Simple Security package, which includes 24/7 home monitoring, a 24-hour battery backup, a wireless keypad, keychain remote, recessed sensor and an indoor siren.  The Smart Security tier is $39.99 per month, plus $249.99 in equipment and installation, and throws in a choice of three of the following features: motion sensor, carbon monoxide sensor, glass break sensor, smoke sensor or a takeover kit for customers that are using security or home automation systems from other vendors  (if the customer was using a security or home automation system from another vendor).

AT&T Digital Life also offers some a la carte options, including a camera package for another $9.99 per month, energy efficiency package ($4.99 per month), and water detection and control packages.

AT&T is entering a crowded market that is also being pursued by several other service providers, including Comcast, Verizon  Communications, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable, among others.

They are all chasing market-leader ADT, which has more than 6 million residential and small business customers.

In a report released last April, Sanford C. Bernstein put the size of the U.S. residential market for security and automation at 30 million homes, and said it was worth about $12 billion when small businesses are factored in. At the time, the firm estimated that each point of the market was worth about $120 million in revenues.