AT&T getting into the home security biz with Digital Life intiative

Home security on the mind

While the tech world swarms into Las Vegas for the CES 2013, AT&T is hosting its Developer Summit at the Palms Casino.

No blockbuster news was in store at Monday morning's keynote session, but the company did provide an overview of its network build-out and progress in its developer APIs.

The session ended with an update on the upcoming launch of its Digital Life home security and automation system, and a short speech by John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, which developed the hardware for the system.

However, Chambers wasn't the only big wig to take the Developer Summit stage.

Talkin' it up

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, started things off by highlighting how its network has made progress over the past year, touting the speed of its 4G LTE network as the fastest available.

He showcased the company's Connected Car initiative, which aims to bring communications and navigation features to the driver while providing entertainment to passengers.

John Donovan, chief technology officer, described the company's plans to continue building out its network. It doubled LTE POPs in 2012 and plans to expand the LTE network to 300 million POPs by year-end 2014.

AT&T is actively deploying faster connections to their cell towers to increase network performance, while also working to make the network more dense, planning to deploy more than 10,000 new macro sites, 1,000 distributed antenna systems, and 40,000 small cells, with an emphasis for small cells going forward.

The cells reportedly improve spectrum efficiency, build more cost efficient radio access networks, and improves coverage for businesses and users while are also increasing the speed of wired U-verse internet.

David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility, took the stage to describe some of the company's developer tools designed to optimize data usage and limit security threats.

AT&T plans to introduce an Advertising API so developers can add mobile ads to their apps. The WebRTC HTML5 standard will allow phone calling and video conferencing within the browser of any device using AT&T's Call Management API.

This will allow you to use your current AT&T mobile number to work across multiple devices.

Home alone

Focus then turned to AT&T's Digital Life home security and automation service.

Launching in eight markets in March and up to 50 markets by the end 2013, the service allows uses to manage your home from your cell phone, tablet or PC. AT&T will provide all of the hardware and installation and also man 24/7 call centers for this completely wireless home system.

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Sytems, took the stage to discuss how Cisco chose to partner with AT&T in the development of this system.

He alluded to the difficult two-year process of putting the system together and emphasized how AT&T's broad wireless network is optimal for this kind of service. He suggested how important an IP-based open standards architecture is necessary for such an advanced system.