AT&T (NYSE: T) launched its Digital Life home security and automation service in 15 markets, where it will compete with similar products from Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Cox Communications.
Image source: AT&T
The wireless platform debuted Friday in Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle and San Francisco, where Comcast has launched Xfinity Home. It's also available in Los Angeles, Houston and Austin, Texas, where Time Warner Cable markets IntelligentHome. Cox Communications and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) also sell security and automation products in the Los Angeles area.
AT&T is charging $39.99 monthly for a Smart Security package that includes motion, smoke, carbon monoxide and "glass break" sensors, plus $250 for equipment and installation. Home security cameras will cost an additional $10 monthly, not including equipment costs. The telco is also charging $5 monthly for an energy package that lets users control lighting and thermostats, $5 monthly for automated door locks and $5 for flood sensors.
Comcast takes a different approach to pricing for its $39.99 monthly Xfinity Home service. While it includes additional fees for equipment such as carbon monoxide and flood sensors, the MSO doesn't charge extra fees for the ability to monitor security cameras, energy or flood sensors.
About 20 percent of Xfinity Home customers are new Comcast subscribers, and about 75 percent of those customers order a quadruple play of services, Comcast Cable Communications CEO Neil Smit said at an investor conference in March.
The biggest difference between Digital Life and the home security and automation products cable MSOs are marketing is that AT&T's service relies on a wireless control center that it installs in subscriber homes. The product doesn't use the copper or fiber plant that it has constructed for its traditional telephone or U-verse services.
Digital Life is also available in St. Louis, Mo., where Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) is the incumbent, but Charter hasn't yet launched a home security and automation service.
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