O2 has signed a deal with AT&T to offer the latter's "digital life" home management and automation platform in the UK. While the partnership between the two is expected to be announced on 5 January at the CES conference in Las Vegas, the smart-home platform will be launched in summer in selected areas north of London, before a wider roll-out later in 2016.
While the American telecommunications company will provide the software behind the platform, smart thermostat maker Tado and other device makers will offer the hardware.
Telefónica, the owner of the British mobile group, and AT&T signed a licensing agreement in 2015 and have since been conducting trials. This offering will mark the first consumer launch of the system in Europe.
To ensure that this contract can be passed over to the new owners should the proposed £10.5bn (€14.3bn, $15.5bn) acquisition by CK Hutchison receive regulatory approval, the deal has been signed between O2 UK and AT&T directly rather than at group level.
Under this offering, customers will be able to manage central heating, home security and energy management under a single internet-based platform. O2 will offer various devices such as smart plugs, cameras, intruder alarms, door locks, water and smoke sensors and other services that can link to a single hub and allow for managing one's home both remotely and automatically.
This smart-home platform will have two components — a hub which will be installed by engineers employed by O2 and a smartphone app. Together, a customer will be able to control the various areas in the house. The platform will also be able to learn from the household habits to ensure an efficient use of energy.
David Plumb, O2's digital director, said: "At O2 we are building an ecosystem that will deliver a complete smart-home experience. By partnering with the very best device, platform and service providers, we will be able to give people the smartest tech for their homes".