AT&T Dives Deeper Into the Smart Home

AT&T buys home automation player Xanboo and partners with Elster on smart metering tech as the battle for the connected home heats up

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

December 8, 2010

2 Min Read
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
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

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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