The latest network operator to join in on the home monitoring trend is Frontier Communications, which today announced a new offering based on a partnership with Dropcam. Frontier plans to offer the product on a nationwide basis, a spokesperson said.
Customers signing up for Frontier’s offering will do their own installation of a Dropcam Wi-Fi video camera, which will enable customers to use a smartphone, tablet or computer to view images from the camera remotely. Frontier’s customer support personnel will provide live support during the installation process if needed.
“Dropcam has redefined home video monitoring and do-it-yourself security with products that are widely used for catching everything from burglars to babies’ first steps, as well as keeping an eye on pets and securing small businesses,” said Frontier in today’s announcement.
Frontier customers will be able to choose any of Dropcam’s products, including the Dropcam Pro camera that sells for $199 and supports two-way audio and night-vision capability, Frontier said.
Customers also will have the option of purchasing cloud recording. There will be no ongoing monthly fee unless customers purchase cloud recording or a support plan, the Frontier spokesperson told Telecompetitor.
What other network operators offer
With the advent of higher-speed mobile broadband, it has become feasible to send video to customers’ smartphones – and telcos and cable companies see such services as a logical extension to their existing businesses.
AT&T and several cable companies offer smartphone control as one element of a complete alarm system monitored 24 hours a day. Verizon launched an offering similar to Frontier’s a couple of years ago but recently took it off the market, stating that it had an alternate offering in the works.
The Frontier spokesperson said Frontier does not currently offer traditional home security, nor does it plan to. But he said “we do have some other home control plans in the near future.”
I would expect those plans to include the ability to remotely control lighting, temperature and the like.
Frontier’s relationship with Dropcam is similar to deals it has made with other technology suppliers to augment its traditional revenue base. Among other things, Frontier sells natural gas, gaming and satellite broadband through partnerships.