AT&T to launch home monitoring service in March

LAS VEGAS Mon Jan 7, 2013 12:44pm EST

LAS VEGAS Jan 7 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc plans to kick off its Digital Life home monitoring service in eight U.S. markets in March, part of its efforts to expand wireless services beyond phones.

The No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider will offer subscriptions with protection from everything from burglars to water leaks and services including remote energy conservation for what it hopes will become a $1 billion business.

Since most people already pay for smartphone data services, operators including AT&T and its rivals Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel are seeking new ways to make money from wireless connections.

AT&T, which first demonstrated the service in May, , said on Monday that users would be able to manage it from a Cisco Systems control panel at home or remotely from a smartphone or computer.

It announced its launch plan at its developer conference day before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and said it aims to expand beyond the initial markets to an additional 50 markets by the end of 2013.

Options will include a video package, which includes the ability to view live video of the outside or inside of the subscribers home, and an energy package, which allows remote control of appliances like lights, heating and air conditioning.

Another package will allow the subscriber to remotely open their door for a pet-sitter or repairman or to check from afar if the doors are opened or closed.

Its water package could detect a water leak and shut of the supply before any flooding occurs. It did not disclose prices.

The security service requires AT&T to build monitoring centers, which will be staffed around the clock so it can respond to emergencies and notify the subscriber as well as police or firefighters.

The service will work on smartphones from rival services as well as devices connected to the AT&T network.

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