AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is getting further into the energy monitoring business through a partnership with PayGo, an integrated utility payments provider, that will let consumers pay their energy bill through prepaid applications or on the go.
AT&T said it will be the exclusive U.S. provider for PayGo's utility payment solutions, which includes near real-time processing of meter information for prepaid services. The carrier said the partnership will let it offer prepaid applications that help manage energy usage and reduce costs. The solution is targeted at utilities directly, and they will make the application available to their customers, an AT&T spokeswoman said.
Under the teaming, consumers can use a variety of methods to pay their energy bills, including via their smartphones, text messages, the Internet or phone. Customers can also pay their bills via postpaid solutions, a gift card as well as energy efficiency programs. The AT&T PayGo solution offers "near real-time" data capabilities that let customers monitor usage and that help utilities with outage, restoration, and other notifications. The solution uses cloud-based applications to enable both prepaid and postpaid customers to make payments.
The solution will be available throughout the U.S. to AT&T business customers, AT&T said. As a company, PayGo is currently active in the United States and Latin America.
However, the deal is another continuation of AT&T's involvement in the energy and smart grid sector. The company has, of course, been active in the sector for years. In 2011, for example, AT&T struck a deal with Digi to jointly offer Digi X-Grid Solutions, a suite of products and services designed to bring connectivity to energy devices in homes and businesses.
And AT&T's Digital Life home automation and monitoring service has an energy focused package. When customers sign up for the company's "Smart Security" package (which begins at $40 per month plus $250 for equipment and installation) they can get an energy add-on that lets customers control appliances, lighting and thermostats for convenience and energy efficiency, for an additional $5 per month plus equipment and installation.
Digital Life is now available in 22 markets and AT&T plans to introduce the service in up to 50 markets by the end of 2013.
- see this AT&T release
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Article updated May 29 with additional information from AT&T.