U.S. Cellular gets into security

Telecom has rolled out its DIY security system; Iowa and Tulsa, Okla., are first test markets
Monday, January 26, 2015

CHICAGO—U.S. Cellular, the newest telecom player to enter the security space, has launched OnLook Digital System, a self-installed security and home automation system.

OnLook is now available in U.S. Cellular’s retail stores in Iowa and the Tulsa, Okla., area. Its success in those test markets will determine future rollouts.

The company’s move into DIY security “came out of strategic discussions about a year and a half ago,” Joe Settimi, U.S. Cellular’s VP of marketing, told Security Systems News.

“It’s really about leveraging our core assets and strengths to move into adjacent spaces,” Settimi said. Its network and customer service are among those strengths, he said.

The test markets were selected for different reasons.

“We were looking for a large market area, and Iowa is one of our long-standing customer markets. …They know us,” so Iowa fit the bill, Settimi said.

In the Tulsa market, ATT has already established itself with DIY security and home automation systems, so “there is established [consumer] education on it,” he said.

U.S. Cellular plans to launch full-force direct marketing efforts in Iowa in February, Settimi said, noting that customer response to merchandising in its retail stores has been positive so far.

Additional markets would be added after analyzing the success in the two markets in the coming months, he said.

The system, which can be managed via a smartphone, tablet or computer, is available starting at $99.99 with a two-year contract.

Three package options are available.

Standard components include a control panel, two door/window sensors, a motion sensor, key fob and security signs and decals. Several automation accessories and add-on packages allow users to customize their solution.

Each package option comes with full-time monitoring from Alarm.com.

A professionally monitored central station is included as part of the OnLook Digital System offering. Similar to other professionally monitored solutions, customers will receive a call from the central station should an issue arise, U.S. Cellular said.

The system is accessed through the U.S. Cellular portal or through Alarm.com’s smartphone app.