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AT&T Reveals Digital Life Subscriber Counts

by William Ablondi | Oct 01, 2014

On September 30, AT&T hosted a group of financial analysts to learn details of their progress and plans for Digital Life and Connected Car platforms. First, we are pleased they chose to use Strategy Analytics’ market forecasts for both the US and Global markets J During the meeting they revealed that Digital Life now has 140,000 subscribers in the US with half of them signing up in the last two quarters. That means they must be at a 12,000/month sign-up rate currently. Congratulations to them!

In addition, they said that in the 15 months since launching Digital Life, they have seen a one-third take rate of automation among those signing up for security. They also mentioned that there are take-rates of 24% for video/camera add-ons, 22% for the door solution, 9% for energy and 1% for water control. Customers must have an AT&T wireless plan, but the required broadband can be anyone’s. The Cowen and Company report I read ended on a very positive outlook for the company’s efforts. I’ll let my colleagues in the Automotive Practice comment on the Connected Car platform.

Digital Life is a residential security service in the US, but a platform for license elsewhere in the world. We just finished an Insight on the deal they cut with Telefónica early last month (See Telefónica First to License AT&T's Digital Life) and we learned today that another deal is imminent. Digital Life is only one of many smart home platforms available. We profiled detailed characteristics (27 categories) of more than 40 platforms in Smart Home Platforms: Competitive Comparisons published earlier this week. AT&T has some healthy competition in the market, but its platform like that from an Israeli company Essence is designed for wireless carriers. We anticipate the Vodafones of the world will be waking up to the opportunity the Smart Home market offers to mitigate the declining growth of their traditional market… we’ll see.

As we mentioned in the report, although the number of platforms grows, so too does the likelihood for disruption of the current architectures. Qualcomm with its AllJoyn technology (now open sourced via the AllSeen Alliance) and Technicolor with its Qeo software framework allow disparate devices to interoperate in a horizontal ecosystem. (See CES 2014: Internet of Things Enters the Home) Both technologies threaten approaches employed by companies such as AlertMe, Arrayent, AT&T, iControl, Revolv, SmartThings, Zonoff and others that are building that functionality into their platform – device by device. Interestingly, Technicolor recently joined the AllSeen Alliance.

Further, AllSeen is not alone as the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) led by Intel and including Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, Samsung and Wind River are also focused on creating an open-source standard for wirelessly connecting devices to one another and to the Internet. Then there’s Thread a new protocol sponsored by ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale Semiconductor, Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics (the semiconductor division, not the CE group), Silicon Labs, and Yale Security, and Apple’s HomeKit (see Handicapping the US Smart Home Horserace) – more potential disrupters.

I can’t wait until we Industry Analysts get our turn to be briefed by AT&T. Maybe they’ll cover more on their global initiatives.

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