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Cox at home with security in Arizona

The telecom has joined the state alarm association and plans to launch in other markets in 2012
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12/21/2011

MESA, Ariz.—Cox Communications, one of the largest cable entertainment and broadband service providers in the country, has been offering a home security/home automation product in Tucson, Ariz., since last summer, and expects to launch it in additional markets in the new year, a company spokesman said.

2011: The Year of the Telecom

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The year is not quite over yet, but it’s clear that 2011 has earned a new name as far as security is concerned: The Year of the Telecom.

That’s because the year has been marked by at least five telecoms entering the security space. And those who have yawned and said, “What else is new? The telecoms have tried this before and failed,” had better take note. There are some indications the telecoms are doing things differently this time—for example, they’re teaming up with other professional security companies and joining industry associations.

Verizon led off in January, debuting its home security/home automation product at the Consumer Electronics show. After beta testing in New Jersey, it followed up in October by launching the product to its broadband customers nationwide.

While Verizon’s product is designed to be self-installed and self-monitored, it appears other telecoms are going with professionally installed and monitored products—and in some cases using professional security companies to do the installation and monitoring.

Cox Communications launched a home security/home automation product in Tucson, Ariz. this summer and is planning to launch in other markets in 2012.

Also in the fall, Time Warner Cable and Frontier Communications joined in by launching home security/home automation offerings in upstate New York, and Frontier also is experimenting with a security product in Pennsylvania .

Frontier, which tried going it alone previously a few years ago, is now partnering with professional security companies—with ADT for its New York offering, and with Protection 1 in Pennsylvania.

There’s also recent news that AT&T is creating a new Atlanta-based division to offer customers home security and home automation.

The Georgia Electronic Life Safety and Security Association (GELSSA) is urging AT&T to join that group and be a good, ethical participant in the industry. That’s what Cox has already done in connection with its Tucson launch, joining the Arizona Alarm Association and attending seminars.

In 2012, we’re likely to see more activity from these telecoms and maybe additional players jumping in. Will the telecoms turn out to be competitive players this time around? Only time will tell.

AT&T to enter Atlanta security market

The telecom is not yet revealing details of its products and services, but it will reportedly open its own monitoring station
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12/07/2011

KENNESAW, Ga.—The news that AT&T is creating a new Atlanta-based division to offer customers home security and home automation—and that it reportedly will open its own monitoring station—carries some positive implications for local alarm companies, said John Loud, owner of Loud Security Systems, which is based here.

In your face, telecoms!

 - 
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I’ve been writing a lot recently about telecoms—Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Frontier Communications and AT&T—entering the security space.

The industry experts I’ve talked to about their new competitors have all been polite, saying that basically, the telecoms don’t have the security expertise or the reputation for good service that security companies have earned with their customers.

So I had to smile at the more in-your-face way that a consumer expressed that same idea in a recent Los Angeles Times article. Here’s what it said:

“Consumers reacted with derision when the Consumer Reports website the Consumerist published a piece on Comcast's entry into the business.

"Yes Mr. Smith, we got a report that your burglar alarm is going off, we are dispatching a security officer to your home and you can expect him on Monday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.," one commenter wrote.”

The article also points to the reasons why those big companies are so interested in security/home automation.

It’s not just that there’s so much money to be made in the space, the article said, but because “the cable industry is facing myriad challenges to its core businesses. The weak economy has led many consumers to cancel their pay-television service, while others are switching to competing video-delivery options, such as satellite operators, telephone companies and the online services Netflix Inc. and Hulu.”

Telecom partners with professional security companies in second go-round

After going it alone in beta, Frontier decides partnering with big national security companies is the way to go
 - 
12/01/2011

STAMFORD, Conn.—Frontier Communications about four years ago tried a go-it-alone experiment offering home security in a small town in Pennsylvania. The telecom, based here, did everything from marketing the product to monitoring it through a third-party monitoring center.
Now Frontier is taking a different approach in a second foray into the security market: It’s partnering with two security giants, ADT and Protection 1, to offer security products in two separate six-month trial programs, one in upstate New York and one in Pennsylvania.

Yet another telecom enters security space!

 - 
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Whew! It just doesn't stop. First, there was the news in October that Verizon had launched to its broadband customers nationwide the home security product it had debuted in January at the Consumer Electronics show.

Then I just wrote about Time Warner Cable and Frontier Communications now joining other cableco and telecom companies in launching home security/home automation offerings.

And now AT&T has entered the security space, according to a recent report of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Here’s what that publication had to say:
 

AT&T plans to launch a new division focusing on connected digital services, as it seeks to diversify revenue streams.

The unit is called Digital Life Services, a company spokeswoman said, declining to offer details on employment.

The division will focus on services such as home security, home monitoring, home automation and control, home healthcare and personal energy management, according to a description on AT&T Careers website.

AT&T is looking to hire sales, marketing and IT professionals to support that division, according to the website.

I’ll be writing more as I learn more—and exploring what this new competition means for the industry.

 

AT&T terminates Xanboo dealer agreement

Telco says don’t sell Xanboo after July
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04/14/2011

LAS VEGAS—AT&T, which in December of 2010 acquired home security and automation provider Xanboo, is to stop selling Xanboo products by July 5.

Does AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile threaten the industry?

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03/24/2011

YARMOUTH, Maine—Ever since rumblings of a POTS sunset began last year, the security industry has been concerned with where a dependable communications pathway would come from. Most eyes have turned to broadband and GSM as two alternatives. With the March 20 announcement of AT&T’s agreement to buy competitor T-Mobile for $39 billion, a new wrinkle to the communications pathway has been introduced with which the security industry must contend, assuming the acquisition passes muster with the SEC.

POTS sunset on the horizon?

FCC issues public notice seeking ways to phase out 'relics of a by-gone era'
 - 
01/07/2010

WASHINGTON--Plain-old telephone service--the mainspring of traditional burg and fire alarm signal transmission--could be coming to a mandatory end. The Federal Communications Commission on Dec.

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