Vivint Sees Internet as ‘Backbone’ of Connected-Home Plan

Vivint Inc., a security, solar and home automation company owned by Blackstone Group LP (BX), is testing a consumer Internet service that it expects to become the “backbone” of its plan to control almost all of the electronics in customers’ houses.

Vivint, based in Provo, Utah, is providing the wireless data service to about 1,200 customers in the Salt Lake City area, founder and Chief Executive Officer Todd Pedersen said. It delivers data speeds of 50 megabits a second for $55 a month.

The company, which initially provided home security, introduced its Vivint Solar unit in 2011. It also offers home automation and energy management services. The goal is to link as many of the electronic devices within a home as possible, and creating a data service will tie all this together, Pedersen said.

“We look at the home, and everything inside the home, as a way to bring everything together for consumers,” Pedersen said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “The backbone of that system could become the Internet.”

Incumbent cable and telecommunication providers have a “utility-like” approach to customer service, he said. “They’ve delivered, or not delivered, speeds to the end consumer or maybe not delivered the greatest service.”

That may create an opening for Vivint.

“We think there are opportunities to disrupt industries that people would probably say, ‘that’s fully-baked,’ ” Pedersen said. “We intend to roll out that service in a very serious way over the next couple of years.”

Blackstone bought Vivint for about $2 billion in 2012. Pedersen owns 12 percent of the company, according to regulatory filings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net Will Wade, Robin Saponar

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