Cox Bets on Smart Homes in Vegas
Entering its seventh market with smart home services, Cox has expanded into Las Vegas with offerings for home security and home automation.
The Cox Communications Inc. Home Security package, which relies on technology from Icontrol Networks Inc. , includes professional security monitoring, remote access to the home system, mobile alerts, and options for deploying sensors, video cameras, and automation tools for adjusting thermostats, lights, and other small appliances. Cox first rolled out smart home services in Arizona three years ago. Additional markets with access today include California, Oklahoma, New England, Ohio, and Virginia.
Among the broadband and TV industry's many priorities, smart home services continue to gain attention as providers look for new ways to generate revenue from their existing infrastructure. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which briefly exited the market, appears to be returning this year. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) had already launched its Digital Life offering in more than 50 markets by the end of 2013. And Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) expanded the feature set for its Xfinity Home services last summer when it introduced the EcoSaver solution and a home-automation-only package called Xfinity Home Control. (See AT&T Continues Smart Home Push.)
It's not clear how much new revenue smart home services are bringing in for providers just yet. However, Comcast did note last June that 41% of its customers buying its home services were brand new subscribers. Strategy Analytics Inc. has predicted that the market for smart home systems and services will top $30 billion by 2018. (See Comcast Turns Homes Into Hotspots.)
Cox, meanwhile, plans to continue its smart home services expansion in 2014. Kristine Faulkner, vice president and general manager of Cox Home Security and Smart Home, is reportedly planning additional market launches this year as well as a "roadmap of advanced services to scale the Smart Home portfolio."
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading