CES 2016 – O2 Targets UK Smart Home Leadership With AT&T Platform Launch

smart homes

O2 becomes first European operator to commercially launch AT&T Digital Life as it looks to seize smart home opportunity

O2 will become the first European operator to offer AT&T’s Digital Life platform to customers later this year, claiming the partnership will allow for the creation of a fully integrated smart home service.

AT&T Digital Life allows users to control connected devices, such as smart meters, lighting and home entertainment systems, using their smartphone, tablet or PC.

O2 will also work closely with German smart thermostat firm tado to demonstrate the benefits of an operator, service and hardware union and wants to work with other device manufacturers. The operator believes its retail and customer service operations could give it a crucial advantage in the fledgling smart home market.

Read More: What next for mobile operators in 2016?

O2 smart home

O2 Cloud“At O2 we are building an ecosystem that will deliver a complete smart home experience.  By teaming up with the very best device, platform and service providers, we will be able to give people the smartest tech for their homes,” said David Plumb, O2 digital director, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. “

“But crucially, we will use our O2 Gurus, with installation experts, to make it easy and simple for people to get the most out of that tech, ensuring they can save money and time or simply gain peace of mind.  With 25 million O2 customers in the UK, we’re excited to be using our scale and expertise to help customers get the everyday benefits of connected tech in the home.

“We are pleased to announce our collaboration with AT&T for their Digital Life platform which will integrate old and new devices around the home.”

Mobile operators across the world are looking for new revenue opportunities as income from traditional sources such as calls and texts dries up amid intense competition from over the top (OTT) players.

IoT rush

The Internet of Things (IoT) is seen as one such avenue, especially for those that don’t have broadband or television businesses. O2 is currently the subject of a proposed £10.25 billion takeover by Three.

“Seeking to establish UK leadership in the connected home market is a sensible strategy for a pure-play mobile operator like O2 UK,” said Kester Mann, principle analyst, operators at CCS Insight. “It would allow some differentiation versus converged UK rivals now heavily pursuing multi-play strategies.

“Indeed, as others focus attention on bundling fixed-line and mobile services at point of sale during 2016, O2 could use its retail footprint to establish a major advantage in this new area.

“The announcement builds on O2’s £1.5 billion smart metering contract in the UK, won in 2013. The UK is also a logical market for AT&T to licence its Digital Life platform into, with smartphone penetration and data usage among the highest in Europe.”

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