AT&T Inc. (T) is starting its home monitoring and security service today in 15 cities, one of the biggest attempts yet by the largest U.S. telephone company to find growth outside its slowing wireless and landline business.
AT&T’s Digital Life service starts at $29.99 a month for basic sensor and alarm security, plus $149.99 for installation. Higher-priced packages include remote camera monitoring, thermostat and lighting control, as well as door locking.
The Dallas-based company joins Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Comcast Corp. in entering the so-called smart-home market, where wireless sensors and cameras can be managed through Internet-connected devices. The service will be sold through AT&T Wireless stores in as many as 50 cities by year-end and takes aim at home security leader ADT Corp. (ADT)
“We’re jumping ahead of the competition by years in terms of technology at a competitive price,” said Glenn Lurie, AT&T president of emerging devices.
AT&T announced Digital Life home security a year ago and has been conducting trials of it with employees. The challenge for AT&T will be to offer the service without sacrificing profit margins. Two days ago, AT&T shares dropped 5 percent after the company reported disappointing sales and continued challenges as it tries to catch up with Verizon Wireless in subscriber growth.
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