Dutch operator KPN is launching its own smart thermostat,under the name KPN SmartLife Comfort. It allows users to control their home heating systems, regardless of their energy supplier. Using an app on a smartphone or tablet they can program heating times, monitor their usage and manage the heating system. The device is produced by Plugwise and is available online for purchase for €6.00 (US $6.70) per month on a two-year contract. The package comes with the thermostat, app and a module to link the device to the heating system and works with any internet connection. Customers already using KPN’s SmartLife security system can integrate the thermostat with the system. KPN said it plans to add more services to the smart home platform. The operator is using the Qivicon platform developed by Deutsche Telekom for its smart home services.
As consumer IoT applications, such as smart home controls,become more popular, operators can take a piece of this business by creating their own platforms and apps, instead of leaving it to other entities to do so.We think KPN’s move is a savvy one, not only because home thermostat control is a desirable service for many consumers, but because offering this service can help make the operator relevant beyond the role of simply providing connectivity, and can also help customer acquisition.