AT&T is Planning This Futuristic Endeavor

AT&T (NYSE:T) announced on Monday that the telecom is looking to add $1 billion to its annual revenue by making a big investment in a nationwide wireless home monitoring system. The new investment is part of a push by AT&T to expand beyond cell phones.

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AT&T’s wireless home monitoring system — “Digital Life” — will monitor homes for everything from water damage to burglaries. By using an Internet connection, customers will also be able to remotely do things like adjust temperature or unlock doors. “Digital Life” involves sensors and cameras linked to a central home system that uses wireless connectivity to network with AT&T monitoring centers.

According to AT&T, the company plans to hire many people to support the service. The mobile operator has also said that it foresees the service as AT&T’s largest revenue growth opportunity, with the possibility of very significant incremental growth in 2013. AT&T is certain that the industry is ripe for growth, as only 20 percent of U.S. homes have security systems. The service could expand to support small businesses and senior citizens who live in their own homes but need close health monitoring.

Currently, the second-largest operator in the nation is building monitoring centers and seeking state approvals to offer security services. AT&T is also creating partnerships with new types of third-party specialists. The company will start trials for the service this year.

AT&T has already proved to be successful in connecting devices as varied as pill boxes, electricity meters, and e-readers. Even though home security would be a departure from wireless for AT&T, it is a step in the right direction. According to analysts, traditional wireless is on a strong but predictable trajectory, giving AT&T no other choice but to look for other revenue streams, and what better way than to enter a largely untapped market?

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