A year after announcing that it's getting into the home security and remote monitoring business, AT&T is announcing the first markets where the service will be available, plus how much it will cost.
On Friday, AT&T will announce that its Digital Life service is available in 15 markets: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colo.; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Philadelphia; Riverside, Calif.; San Francisco; Seattle; St. Louis; and select areas of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. The company said the service will be available in up to 50 markets by the end of 2013.
Digital Life lets people monitor and manage home security and energy systems from afar using a smartphone, computer, or tablet. AT&T provides and installs Internet-connected cameras, along with sensors on doors and windows, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, door locks, thermostats, and moisture sensors. The devices and sensors are all hooked up to a home broadband connection and can be controlled from a computer or mobile device. The Digital Life application is available on most browsers and there are mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices, AT&T said.
AT&T announced the new service last year and showed off a demonstration of the new technology at the CTIA industry trade show in New Orleans. People can remotely manage the security devices and view live video from the installed cameras. They can also unlock doors or remotely manage home energy systems. Additionally, they're able to set up policies so that this management can be done automatically if certain thresholds are met. And if a security sensor is tripped, alerts can be sent to authorities.
AT&T has a 24-hour security monitoring team that calls customers and dispatches more information to firefighters and police when necessary.
Customers can choose between two packages.
- Simple Security is the basic home security package, which includes 24-7 home monitoring, 24-hour battery backup, a wireless keypad, keychain remote, recessed sensors, and an indoor siren for $30 a month plus $150 for equipment and installation.
- Smart Security includes all the benefits of Simple Security plus a choice of three of the following features: motion sensor, carbon monoxide sensor, glass break sensor, smoke sensor, or takeover kit. Smart Security begins at $40 a month plus $250 for equipment and installation.
Customers who choose the more expensive Smart Security package can also add additional services. The full list of additional services is below:
- Camera Package View live video from inside and outside the home for an additional $10 a month plus equipment and installation.
- Energy Package Control appliances, lighting, and thermostats for convenience and energy efficiency for an additional $5 a month plus equipment and installation.
- Door Package Allow a pet sitter or repairperson into your home remotely with automated door locks, or check to see whether your garage door is open or closed for an additional $5 a month plus equipment and installation.
- Water Detection Package Detect water leaks before damage occurs for an additional $5 a month plus equipment and installation.
- Water Control Package Detect leaks and shut off water at the main water source for an additional $10 a month plus equipment and installation.
AT&T isn't the only communications company to get into the home security and monitoring business. Verizon Communications also offers such services, as does the cable operator Comcast. The big difference between AT&T's offering and one from either Verizon or Comcast is that these companies require subscription to their high-speed broadband services. For Verizon that means either being a Fios or DSL customer. By contrast, AT&T's Digital Life service is available to any customer in areas where the service is available, regardless of which wireless or broadband provider that customer uses.