2013
08.27

I could not tell you the last time I had a landline connection in my home. By doing away with the landline, along with all those annoying telemarketers, I also shut my home out to another very fundamental element in today’s world: the triple-play package. And frankly I couldn’t care less.

Triple play: phone, Internet, cable. Well, I guess I would need to want all three in order for it to be appealing, right? I am part of the growing number of American households with no landline, or who choose to use their mobile phone instead.

So, then what are the phone companies to do? Maybe they should start dabbling in quadruple or quintuple or sextuple or septuple-play services. Believe me there will be plenty of “things” to around to fit such descriptions.

In fact, JD Power & Associates is saying telecom providers should already be thinking that way. The consumer-ratings firm says nearly 75% of preferred future bundles in the United States and 78% in Canada will include such non-traditional elements as home automation, energy management, and home health monitoring.

Furthermore, when future bundles are considered it will be the telecom providers which will be the preferred providers of such services by 65% of U.S. consumers, says JD Power. This trumps security providers (13%) and energy companies (7%). I concur, as I would not want any piece of having my power company handling my TV or Internet. Interestingly enough, the JD Power study showed 16% would prefer these bundled services to come from tech companies like Google or Microsoft or device makers. That seems a bit high to me, but perhaps I am missing the appeal of inviting Microsoft of Google into more aspects of my life.

Truth be told, the connected home is coming; the connected car is here; and connected energy and healthcare are not too far behind. One day I believe all of these things will be converged in my life. Thank you, M2M.

AT&T seems to be thinking the same. Have you seen the announcement about its new AT&T Foundry in Atlanta? I consider it to be a thought lab around the ideas I just mentioned. Inside the 8,000-sq.ft. facility will the room and resources for developers to bring some pretty innovative things to market. For the record, AT&T describes it as such:

“The AT&T Foundry in Atlanta will focus on Digital Life, AT&T’s recently launched home security and automation service, as well as mobility services, the connected car, emerging devices, and AT&T U-verse.”

Seems AT&T got the JD Power memo about new bundled home services a while back. The carrier is digging deeper into this whole Internet of Things to see just how much all of these disparate segments will one day intersect in our personal lives. And I like it.

But, as I’ve said in the past, let’s make the offers compelling enough for the average homeowner. AT&T is in a unique position to really catapult this to the next level. I look forward to seeing what come out of the AT&T Foundry. Perhaps my quintuple-play services deal is already on its way.

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