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Telco Home Security

5:30 PM -- When Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) CEO Ed Mueller said last week that he was contemplating the idea of offering home security services, the revelation got a lot of pickup in the mainstream press. But here's the thing: This is not a new idea. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has not only had similar thoughts about FiOS, but it has been testing the service in its labs. (See Verizon Previews FiOS Future.)

The Verizon service would monitor a wide array of objects in your home such as lighting, temperature, security cameras, etc., and would also be viewable and controllable from your mobile phone. Details on Qwest's home security offering are still unclear except that it would be Web-based video that would allow customers to monitor their homes over the Internet.

It would seem that a key selling point of being able to monitor your home's status would be that you can do it anywhere at anytime. This would certainly involve a mobile phone -- something Qwest only offers through its partnership with Sprint. Since the merging of wireline and wireless services is very complicated, it would require a lot of technological cooperation between Qwest and whoever its wireless partner ends up being in the coming years. (See Qwest Not Satisfied With Sprint.) Is this something Qwest is willing to throw a lot of money and effort into when it already has to be careful as it is with where it allocates its resources?

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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