AT&T Dives Deeper Into the Smart Home
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is making itself at home in the connected home this week, announcing a partnership with Elster Group for smart meters and confirming that it has acquired Xanboo Inc., a pioneer in the home automation market. (See AT&T, Elster Team for Smart Grid.)
AT&T confirmed its purchase of longtime partner Xanboo to CEPro, which broke the news on Monday. Xanboo enables Internet-based remote management for home security, thermostats, and other devices, and AT&T notes that Xanboo's monitoring services are "a natural extension of our high-speed Internet, video and voice offerings and a good fit for our wireless services."
Through its partnership with Elster, announced today, AT&T will be targeting utilities for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), supplied by Elster but accomplished over AT&T's wireless data network. The carrier says it has been rapidly gaining momentum in the smart-grid space, and that the partnership will help it expand its offerings beyond North America.
Why this matters
The home automation and energy space has seen a flurry of partnerships and M&A lately. Most recently, Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced plans to acquire 4HomeMedia Inc. , a home automation company Verizon Wireless invests in. Meanwhile, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) partners Icontrol Networks Inc. and uControl Inc. recently merged their home-automation businesses. (See Deal Watch: Motorola Heads for 4Home and iControl, uControl Strike Merger Deal .)
Service providers are eager to leverage their existing communications infrastructure to the home to offer value-added -- and potentially revenue-generating -- services to their consumers. They are looking to do this on their own, through the Internet or fiber-based TV services, for example, or through partnerships with utilities in which they act as the pipe provider.
Both routes are relatively uncharted territory for them, hence the M&A and partnering sprees of late. The recent wave of action suggests the space is poised to be a bigger focus for communication service providers going into next year.
For more on service provider stakes in the battle for the smart home, check out the following stories:
- Grid Net Taps LTE to Rev Up Smart Grid
- Cable Catchup
- Grid Net Uses Sprint for Smart Grid
- Comcast Homes In on Security Services
- Docsis 3.0 Enters the Gateway Era
- AT&T Connects 900,000 Devices
- AT&T, Current Group Team on Smart Grid
- AT&T Teams With Silver Spring
- CableLabs Specs Added to 'Smart Grid'
- Comcast Invests in Home Control
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile