ATT considers selling Digital Life business unit to ease debt load

iotindustry

#1

OK, there are a lot of different factors in this decision, it’s not about an industry trend. But it is interesting.

AT&T has a security/home automation unit which only sells into a few markets. It’s called AT&T digital life.

AT&T recently acquired Time Warner, which has its own home automation unit, and it was a transaction that involved AT&T taking on a lot of debt.

AT&T is now trying to sell their digital life unit – – but not Time Warner home – – apparently to raise some cash to offset the debt load.

Note that even though AT&T is only in a very limited set of markets for digital life, they have over 400,000 customers.

I bring this up a lot, but whenever somebody talks about issues involving DIY home automation, are usually mention that home automation as a service, typically from companies also selling home security, has literally millions of customers today. Many times more then have bought SmartThings plus Wink plus vera plus iris combined. And all of those people are paying monthly fees. I know that’s not The same group of people who tend to come to this forum, but it is important to remember that that other, much larger group, is out there. :sunglasses:

Also note that Xfinity continues to report that their home automation division is one of their highest growth areas, and they now have almost 2 million customers for those services.

So AT&T selling digital life is an important business story, but it doesn’t represent a trend in the “home automation as a service” industry. Just a specific business decision by a specific company based on their recent acquisitions.

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2017/08/18/report-at-t-considering-sale-of-home-security-unit.html


#2

Yeah, I agree that you can’t consider this move by AT&T to be representative of any trend in the marketplace. I spent 30 years working for SWBELL/AT&T the name of the company depended on the day of the week. They are consumers of tech rather than creators of it. It’s by no means unusual for them to hop on a trend typically by purchasing a innovative company in that marketplace. Then they let it languish after an intitial marketing push and enventulally sell it off or dissolve the unit in favor of the next big thing. In this case the next big thing is controlling video content for over the top marketplace. They have all but abandoned U-Verse, DSL, & the local switched network. They would sell the later in a minute if they could find a buyer. They don’t so much grow the cellular business as much as they buy customers by consuming smaller providers.