AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has hinted at some of the big announcements it will be making at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The telecom carrier said it wants to link up its smart home service known as “Digital Life” and connected car technology known as “Drive. The move is part of the goal by the company to improve its Internet of Things offering.
Home control from car dashboard
According to the head of AT&T Mobility, Glenn Lurie, they want to make it possible for people to control their homes from the car dashboard. For instance, a driver will be able to tell the home to open the garage door, move the thermostat, turn off the alarm and put off the light. In a way, Lurie said they believe that the linking of the technologies will enable vehicles and homes to take care of their owners. More about the Drive and Digital Life linking will be disclosed at the MWC.
Internet of Things
As AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) move to expand in the Internet of Things market, the wireless provider faces competition from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) among other rivals. Competition in the Internet-connected devices market is growing intense because of the potential opportunities there. The $1.7 trillion U.S. wireless market is turning to Internet of Things for growth.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) finished 2014 with 20 million connected devices that include cars and cargo containers. The number of connected devices in the company’s network was up 20% last year compared to the previous one.
Of the 1.3 million connected devices that AT&T added in 2014, 800,000 were cars. While the company doesn’t disclose revenue from its connected devices segment, analysts expect the market of connected vehicles be worth $20 billion annually in the next three years. That of smart homes is expected to be $71 billion in the same period.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has teamed up with automakers such as Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) to advance its connected-vehicle agenda. The company has also partnered with LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics to advance it smart homes business.