Home monitoringC Spire plans to offer home automation, security and monitoring to customers who purchase the gigabit service that the company is in the process of deploying in parts of Mississippi. The offering, called C Spire Home, will use Lynx equipment from Honeywell and will be installed by licensed security technicians that C Spire will be hiring, a C Spire spokesman told Telecompetitor.

Monitoring will be handled by a third-party central station, the spokesman said.

Customers purchasing C Spire Home will have the ability to check in on and control their home system remotely using a smartphone. That capability has had a major impact in the home control and security market, making such systems more attractive to end users and significantly increasing demand. And that trend has caught the attention of telcos and cablecos, many of whom have launched home control and security offerings in recent years.

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Diversification
C Spire, which initially focused on providing mobile service and landline business services, said last year that it would enter the landline residential market in an ambitious manner. The company is deploying fiber-to-the-home infrastructure capable of supporting speeds up to 1 Gbps in at least three Mississippi communities, with the possibility of adding more if the company sees sufficient demand.

In today’s C Spire Home announcement, C Spire said it expects to launch its gigabit service in one or more markets by the end of the summer, with C Spire Home debuting by the end of the year. The company also said that C Spire Home pricing details would be disclosed “soon.”

The company previously said that its FTTH infrastructure will support voice and pay-TV services as well as broadband. Triple-play pricing for all three services is targeted at $160, while a double play of TV and broadband is expected to cost $140. Broadband alone will cost $80, and C Spire Wireless customers will receive a $10 monthly discount on all packages, the company said previously.

C Spire Home Possibilities
Security equipment manufacturers such as Honeywell have built cloud data centers to support smart home remote control, typically charging a monthly fee that the security companies mark up and pass on to customers. The C Spire spokesman said C Spire is working through whether lower monthly charges coupled with higher upfront installation costs or higher monthly charges and lower upfront costs will be best for customers.

Security systems typically don’t require much bandwidth unless video is involved. It will be interesting to see if C Spire does anything with its offering to leverage the extra bandwidth available through a gigabit connection. The possibilities will be somewhat limited by the bandwidth available for the smartphone connection, however.

Once C Spire launches C Spire Home, there is a possibility the company could make it available to end users who use a different broadband provider – a move some other telcos have made with their home control and security offerings. Today’s release makes it clear that such a move is not part of the initial plans however, as it states that gigabit Internet will be part of the C Spire Home offering.

C Spire Home will be sold through company retail stores, a dedicated call center representative, online and through an in-home sales consultant, C Spire said.

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