Report: AT&T to launch new 'Digital Life Services' connected devices unit

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) will unveil a new unit focused on connected wireless devices in the  home security, healthcare and energy markets dubbed "Digital Life Services," according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The organization, which is not yet operational, appears to be a separate division of AT&T's three-year-old emerging devices business, which has handled connected devices in those vertical markets. The report, which did not cite its sources, said that the new unit will create hundreds of jobs.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel declined to comment on the report, but AT&T has hinted at the changes in the past. "We're building a whole new organization under [the Emerging Devices division]," Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T's emerging devices business, told the newspaper in a September interview. "It's the largest new opportunity that we have for AT&T."

It's clear that AT&T places a high level of importance on the market. It was the topic of a keynote presentation last month at CTIA Enterprise & Applications trade show. "Connected devices are being called the next big thing for mobility," AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets CEO Ralph de la Vega said at the time.

In addition, Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner said  that AT&T Mobility's connected device group continues to lead the wholesale and connected devices segment, leveraging its early lead in the ereader market. 

However, AT&T isn't the only carrier interested in home security and energy. Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) launched a home security and energy management service last month.

Citing new research, the GSMA predicted last month that the number of total connected devices will increase from around 9 billion today to more than 24 billion in 2020. Of those figures, mobile will account for around 6 billion this year and 12 billion in 2020.

For more:
- see this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article

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Connected devices: A $1.2 trillion opportunity
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