Canada’s Rogers Communications is giving equal weight to home security and newer home-monitoring features when it comes to its new home-monitoring and security platform.
Last month, the operator announced the availability of its new system for Internet customers in its cable footprint across Ontario. (For more, see Rogers Enters Home Monitoring Business).
Powered both by Rogers’ cable and wireless networks, Smart Home Monitoring provides home security. It also lets consumers automate and manage sensors, cameras, thermostats, lights and small appliances from the Web and smartphones.
"This is more than a traditional security system," says Ian Pattinson, vice president and general manager/Smart Home Monitoring at Rogers. "I think we provide an equal balance of ultimate reliability around all aspects. We’ve reinvented the category."
iControl Networks’ OpenHome software platform is powering Rogers’ Smart Home Monitoring.
Subscribers to Smart Home Monitoring use a touchscreen from iControl to arm, disarm and manage their systems. The touchscreen is available in wall-mount or table-top models. Customers can control their home-automation apps to control lighting, cameras and thermostats as well as multimedia apps for photos, traffic, weather and sports. When an alarm occurs, the touchscreen connects with the Rogers central monitoring station simultaneously, using Rogers’ cable and wireless networks.
The Back Story
Earlier this year, Paul Dawes, co-CEO of iControl, told Communications Technology magazine, "We’re focusing on home security as the tip of the spear as far as a go-to-market strategy. Every one of our partners is going out with home security as the linchpin. Remote monitoring – as a standalone feature – is not something customers understand enough yet to cause a buying decision." (For more, see Home Monitoring: Control and Security Come Of Age).
Rogers has been testing its home monitoring technology for about three years, says Pattinson, and some 700 of the MSO’s employees have been using the service for more than six months.
While some U.S. operators have indicated security is a difficult business to launch because of the legal and regulatory hurdles, Rogers hasn’t found security to be burdensome in Canada.
"The home-security business is not something that is new to us," says Pattinson. "We used to be in home security 10 or 15 years ago and had these competencies in our organization for quite a long time. Our Central Monitoring Station is staffed with certified security experts with over 20 years of professional experience who monitor and respond to emergency events in customer homes. Our platform and central station are all Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certified."