Beginning on 27 September, AT&T will launch Digital Life, a home security and automation service, in six additional U.S. cities including Charlotte, NC; Hartford, CT; Jacksonville, FL; Milwaukee, WS; Oklahoma City, OK and Tulsa, OK. Digital Life is a fully integrated mobile digital system that enables customers to manage their homes from their smartphones, tablets or PCs. The Digital Life app, which is available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows operating systems, gives customers control over cameras, door locks, lights, thermostats and small appliances by using programs to manage them, including setting alerts. With these six new locations, Digital Life will now be available in 45 markets, and the company says it has plans to launch the service in up to 50 markets by the end of 2013.
The expansion of AT&T’s home-security and automation service is another, though very different, example of a value-added offer that operators can use to appeal to consumers in a competitive climate, providing them with options that go well beyond the basic voice, text, and data features they have come to expect. Digital Life appears to be an excellent way to take the existing capabilities of mobile devices and mobile connectivity and make them serve a different function. Its expansion indicates that the operator is encouraged by the response to date, and considering how vital consumers consider home security to be, we would not be surprised to see solid growth of the service in the near future. We believe operators in other markets would be well advised to consider developing similar offers.