Regional wireless carrier US Cellular recently launched OnLook, a new home automation and security system. The OnLook digital home automation system was developed by US Cellular with the help of Alarm.com, a firm that specializes in providing solutions for managing homes over cellular networks, including house security, environmental monitoring, and home control.
US Cellular's OnLook service offers many tiers according to the customer's home management and security needs. As a matter of fact, US Cellular's OnLook digital home automation system comes in three easy-to-install packages: Essential Security, Advanced Security, and Advanced Security + Energy.
Essential Security, the most basic level, offers standard inclusions like motion, window, and door sensors. This tier starts at $100, plus a fee of $30 each month.
As for the more advanced tiers -- Advanced Security ($150, plus $40 monthly fee) and Advanced Security + Energy ($200, plus a $50 monthly fee) -- customers can get carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors, a smart thermostat, remote appliance, and light switches, among many others. Take note that all of these devices can be managed and monitored from Alarm.com's website.
Also, customers can receive real-time notifications through their mobile phones. This is made possible through Alarm.com's mobile app, which is available for both Android and iOS users.
US Cellular is launching the OnLook digital home automation system in Iowa and in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both of these locations are included in the carrier's coverage area for mid-sized and rural markets.
As of now, US Cellular has not made any announcements about expanding the OnLook service to other areas. But there is no harm in expecting that any area reached by the regional carrier's wireless coverage will eventually get to avail of the home automation service too.
By venturing into digital home automation, US Cellular is presenting a sort of challenge to AT&T Mobility, whose Digital Life unit has almost cornered the market. AT&T first introduced the service back in 2013, and has since made it available to over 80 US markets. Digital Life plans start at $40 per month (basic security plan) to $55 per month (with security and automation packages). To illustrate, AT&T's Smart Security package costs $150 upfront, requires a two-year agreement, and has a monthly fee of $40. This package already includes a keypad, indoor siren, keychain remote, door sensors, window sensors, and a motion sensor. In September this year, AT&T claimed that Digital Life has already acquired about 140,000 subscribers at the end of the third quarter.
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