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AT&T talks Connected Everything; Digital Life to launch in March

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 3:35pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

AT&T used its annual developer conference in Las Vegas Monday to highlight connected car and home products, as well as its work in mobile payments with ISIS. The conference's opening keynotes were streamed live online from AT&T's website.

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, encouraged developers to create applications for the home, car and mobile payments platforms. He said developers could expect a merging of various products, including Digital Life, NFC-enabled ISIS applications and connected cars.

AT&T will officially launch its Digital Life home automation system in eight markets in March, with a goal of 50 markets by 2013. The service will allow users remote control of everything from home security, to lights and appliances. The system can be tailored to a user's needs. Digital Life was announced at the CTIA Wireless show in New Orleans last year.

Most of the announcements from today's event centered around AT&T's U-verse TV product, including a $5 per month subscription on-demand movie and TV service. The company also rolled out new developer APIs that will enable the creation of new apps that that will allow end users to stream photos and videos to their U-verse set-top boxes.

Specifically, AT&T introduced two new U-verse enabled apps. Twonky Beam, developed by PacketVideo, and Pix & Flix.

Twonky Beam lets users take compatible video clips from smartphones to the TV. The Pix & Flix app allows U-verse TV customers to “throw” photos stored on their mobile device to the TV.

De la Vega also introduced a video that showed a mashup of ISIS and connected car products. The video showed a connected car enabled with ISIS that allows the driver to order food for delivery, pay for it with ISIS and have it arrive at the house after the driver arrives home.

On the smartphone front, De la Vega also offered some updates on numbers from 2012. AT&T launched 30 LTE-capable devices last year, including tablets and smartphones. He also said that AT&T has sold "more Windows Phone than any other carrier globally, period."

John Donovan, senior vice president of AT&T technology and network operations, gave a quick update on the company's LTE build out. AT&T has repeatedly said it plans on having 300 million Points of Presence (POPs) covered by the end of 2014.

Donovan said AT&T LTE is currently covering 170 million POPs, including 135 markets. AT&T will continue to work on creating more network density, including the deployment of 10,000 new macro sites, 1000 DAS systems, and an additional 40,000 small cells by the end of 2015.

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