O2 Smart Home, which launched in September 2016 as O2 Home, is to be closed down in February 2018 because of poor customer take-up.

  • Service closure brings an end to European trials of AT&T’s Digital Life solutions.
  • Telefónica’s next connected home push likely to be home-grown, and drawing on AURA.

In a statement issued in December 2017, Telefónica UK (O2 UK) said “not as many customers as we’d hoped chose to try O2 Smart Home, so we’ve made the difficult decision to close the service”. It did not reveal how many subscribers had opted for the service, nor whether it will continue to sell IoT products as part of its broader offering, although it seems likely that connected devices will still be offered alongside smartphone, tablets, and other end-user equipment.

O2 re-named the O2 Home service less than a year in, and attempted to find a more effective way to market through channel partnerships with more specialist service providers (Telefónicawatch, #109, #113, and #119). It appears, though, that these efforts to generate momentum to justify continued support for the service, in a market that O2 has described as “crowded”, were unsuccessful.

  • The operator stressed that existing O2 Smart Home customers, likely on long-term contracts, will be fully refunded, and that some of their connected devices will still work. These include Deterrent TV, a fake television that recreates the light of a real television set to deter burglars; the Fibaro Flood Sensor; the Smart Plug; the Tado Smart Thermostat; and the Yale Smart Lock. However, many more devices were designed only to work with the O2 Smart Home Hub and cannot be integrated with other systems. These include the alarm box, external camera, key fob, keypad, open/close sensor, presence sensor, Samsung internal camera, smart smoke alarm, and wide view internal camera.

Failing fast, moving on

The O2 offering will have gone from launch to closure in just 17 months, and follows the operator’s earlier abandoned forays into brand expansion in areas such as mobile finance (Telefónicawatch, #83). That said, signs of concern were already visible in late-2016, when O2 pivoted from mass market, volume aspirations to a more partner-oriented, lifestyle approach.

O2 UK insisted it remained committed to other new commercial projects, such as smart metering and its O2 Drive telematics-driven car insurance service (Telefónicawatch, #114). A key difference between the metering project and insurance product when compared to the smart home experiment, though, is that they play more to O2’s strengths as a network service provider. O2 Home, with its gadgets and apps, was a more domestic product with connectivity on the periphery.

The form of O2 Home, particularly considering its draws on AT&T technology, may also have jarred with plans for AURA. Telefónica’s developing approach to delivering connected services is based on building from a personalised digital data foundation. Connected home solutions are likely to feature in the evolution of AURA, but a more organic approach is expected to be favoured over potentially clunky bolt-ons.

AT&T alliance goes out with a whimper

The shuttering of the O2 Smart Home offering also draws a close to Telefónica’s association with AT&T in the connected home area.

  • A deal signed in September 2014 between Telefónica Group and AT&T saw the US operator agree to license its Digital Life home automation platform for use by Telefónica in Europe (Telefónicawatch, #91).

Telefónica has stated that the termination of O2 Smart Home marks the end of its use of Digital Life, and that it is not working with AT&T in any other European markets. The AT&T division behind the service, which is thought to have around half a million users in the USA, may also be in the midst of change. Reports in late-2017 suggest a $1bn spin-off from its parent is under consideration.

Other smart home projects continue

  • Despite the demise of O2 Smart Home, the development of smart home services and technology remains an important part of Telefónica’s IoT strategy. For example, the operator still seems to be offering a smart home solution in Spain, in a project that is separate from the AT&T deal. A home security solution called Movistar VeriSure Hogar leverages relationships with Sigfox, a French company offering network connectivity for IoT devices, and security solutions provider Securitas Direct (Telefónicawatch, #98).
  • Telefónica also continues to trial technologies in its home market to create in-building capabilities that enable a broad range of smart home services (Telefónicawatch, #102, #104, #119, and #121). In addition, during Mobile World Congress 2016, Telefónica signed an agreement with vendor and long-term strategic partner Huawei Technologies to jointly promote the development of digital home services in Latin America (Telefónicawatch, #104).

Image: Telefónica UK Limited.

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP

Management update

Gilpérez out as Álvarez-Pallete issues rallying cry [p6]

  • End of Gilpérez rein in Spain
  • Regional divisions return to Latin America
  • Corporate changes, and additional reshuffling
  • Álvarez-Pallete’s dream of tomorrow
  • Table 1: People movement highlights

Global Resources

Progress on 5G standards opens way to 2019 deployments

5G

Ericsson vs Nokia in Telefónica’s 5G city face-off [p11]

  • A local network for local people
  • Two traditional mobile partners given a shot…
  • …but still playing catch-up?

5TONIC undertakes new research projects [p13]

  • R&S unveiled as latest ‘collaborator’…
  • 5TONIC trumpets 5G trials for industrial robots…
  • 5TONIC follows through with wide remit

Partners

Telefónica takes Tutela agreement global [p15]

  • Tutela benchmarking doesn’t pull punches on Telefónica performance

Suppliers

Huawei and Telefónica trumpet SDN transport trials [p16]

  • New platform planned for WDM management
  • Another fine mesh

Supplier profile: Allot

Securing Telefónica’s trust [p18]

  • Allot a comfortable fit with Telefónica’s virtualised platform approach
  • BIOGRAPHY: EREZ ANTEBI
  • Global strategy, local solutions
  • Ereze Antebi: Allot and sector transformation [p20]
  • Allot’s USP
  • Making friends and influencing operators
  • Allot enthusiastic for new model opportunities
  • Breaking out of the capex vault
  • Operators providing principal customer focus
  • Today Spain, tomorrow the world…?
  • Virtualised reality
  • New IoT and video use-cases
  • … but no place like home
  • Operators’ integral role in securing a digital world

LATIN AMERICA

Regional

Telefónica deploys open source STB software from Wyplay [p26]

  • Wyplay makes its mark in a busy ecosystem
  • Vivo launches bundles to boost digital services in Brazil

Argentina

Regulator approves quad-play services for Movistar [p29]

Brazil

Vivo expands IPTV to 21 more cities [p30]

  • Vivo DTH exodus gathers momentum

Colombia

Ezentis wins new contract from Coltel [p32]

EUROPE

Germany

Telefónica gets on-trend with blockchain financing [p34]

  • Financial analysts snooty, but Telefónica remains committed

O2 Germany trumpets tie-up with online video store [p35]

O2 video still lags

Spain

Telefónica España wins F1 rights for three more years [p36]

UK

TalkTalk offers O2 deals to mobile subscribers [p37]

O2 Smart Home closes its doors [p38]

  • Failing fast, moving on
  • AT&T alliance goes out with a whimper
  • Other smart home projects continue

O2 signs mobile identity deal with Danal [p39]

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Index

Symbols

3GPP 11, 14
21st Century Fox
– Sky plc 35

A

Accenture 8
ADVA Optical Networking 17
Alastria 34
Alcatel-Lucent 35
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise 35
Alphabet
– Google
– – Android 15
– – YouTube 29
América Móvil 27, 32
– Claro 15, 27, 29, 32
Apple
– iOS 15
Aquto 29
ARRIS 26
Artesyn Embedded Technologies 13
ASTI 13
AT&T 7, 27, 38, 39
– DirecTV 27

B

Bernstein 34
Bouygues Telecom 39
BT Group 8

C

CaixaBank 35
C&G IT Solutions 35
– Myfixpert 35
CIENA 17
Cisco Systems, Inc 8
CK Hutchison
– H3G
– – UK 37
Cohere Technologies 13, 14
CommScope 13
Coriant 17

D

Danal 39
DZ Bank 34

E

ENACOM 29
Ericsson 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 26, 27
European Union 15
Ezentis 32

F

Facebook 29

G

Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd 19
Google
– YouTube 22
GSM Association (GSMA) 39
– Mobile World Congress 39

H

Huawei 12, 14, 16, 17, 30, 39

I

ICE (Costa Rica) 32
IFEMA 13
IFT (Mexico) 32
Infinera 17
Intel 13
InterDigital 13

J

Juniper Networks 14, 17

K

Kudelski Group
– Nagra 27

L

LinkedIn 8

M

MaxLinear 14
McAfee 22
MVNOs 37

N

NEC 17
– Netcracker 17
Netflix 22, 29
Nokia 11, 12, 14, 16

O

Orange 8, 39

P

ProBrand International 14

Q

Quantenna 26
Quantenna Communications 26

R

Regions
– EMEA
– – Europe 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, 20, 33, 38, 39
– – France 26, 39
– – Germany 8, 34, 35
– – Ireland 8, 39
– – Israel 18, 19
– – Italy 14
– – Spain 6, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 27, 32, 34, 35, 36, 39
– – UK 8, 15, 37, 38, 39
– Latin America 6, 7, 15, 20, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 39
– – Argentina 7, 27, 29
– – Brazil 7, 14, 15, 21, 27, 29, 30
– – Central America 7
– – Chile 7, 27, 30
– – Colombia 7, 14, 15, 30, 32
– – Costa Rica 26, 31, 32
– – Ecuador 7
– – Guatemala 31
– – Mexico 15, 32
– – Nicaragua 31
– – Peru 7, 32
– – Uruguay 7
– – Venezuela 7
– North America
– – Canada 15
– – USA 19, 39
Rivetz 34
Rohde & Schwarz 13

S

Samsung 38
Securitas Direct 39
SIAE Microelettronica 14
Spotify 29
Subtel (Chile) 30
Sutel (Costa Rica) 31, 32

T

TalkTalk plc 37
Technologies
– 3G 37
– 4G
– – LTE 11, 12, 13, 27, 32, 35, 37
– – LTE-A 32, 35
– 5G 11, 12, 13, 14, 30
– Broadband 30, 36
– Cloud computing 30
– DTH 30, 31
– GSM 39
– high definition (HD) 31
– Internet of Things 20, 30
– IP 16, 35
– IPTV 26, 30, 31
– LPWA 30
– LTE-A Pro 32
– MIMO 12
– NB-IoT 30
– Network functions virtualisation (NFV) 22
– R&D 12, 19
– Smart City 12
– Smart metering 38
– Software defined networking (SDN) 16, 17
– Telematics 38
– TV 26, 27, 29, 31, 38
– WLAN
– – Wi-Fi 27, 37
Telecom Italia
– TIM Brasil 15
Telefónica Group 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 21, 30, 32, 34, 35, 39
– Associates and investments
– – Quantenna 26
– – Sigfox 22, 39
– Digital services
– – AURA 38
– – ElevenPaths 22
– – Open Future 34
– – OTT 31
– – Quantenna Communications 26
– – Telefónica I+D 30
– – Wayra 8, 30, 35
– Europe 39
– – Germany 8, 34, 35
– – O2 8, 15, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39
– – Spain 6, 8, 11, 12, 16, 27, 35, 36
– – Telefónica Deutschland 17, 34, 35
– – UK 8, 37, 38, 39
Executives
– – Alierta, César 6
– – Alonso, Chema 19
– – Álvarez-Pallete Lopez, José María 6, 7
– – Bacic, Katrin 8
– – Blanco, Fabián 8
– – Caride, Eduardo 7
– – De Carvajal, Pablo 7
– – Garcia, Juan Carlos 15
– – Gayo, Emilio 6
– – Gebara, Christian 31
– – Gilpérez López, Luis Miguel 6, 11
– – Gómez, Alfonso 7
– – Gomez, Sergio 8
– – Gonzalez de Santiago 8
– – Hernández, Fabián 7
– – Horcajo, Alberto 7
– – Keates, Rob 8
– – Lopez Blanco, Carlos 7
– – Machicot, Marta 7
– – Martin, Mario 7
– – Mata, Joaquin 11
– – Navarro, Eduardo 7
– – Quinn, Bernardo 7
– – Sainz, Natalia 7
– – Sánchez de Lérin, Ramiro 7
– – Vilá, Ángel 7, 31
– Ex-executives
– – Rosen, Daniel 8
– Global Resources
– – 5TONIC 12, 13, 14
– – Telefónica Business Solutions 8, 34
– – Telefónica Ingeniería de Seguridad 8
– – Telxius 7
– Latin America
– – Argentina 27, 29
– – Brazil 26, 29, 30, 31
– – Chile 30
– – Mexico 15, 29
– – Vivo 15, 29, 30, 31
– Movistar+ 36
– Products and services
– – Fusión 6, 36
– – Movistar+ 36
– – Movistar Play 31
– – Movistar TV 26, 31
– – Movistar VeriSure Hogar 39
– – O2 Drive 38
– – O2 Home 38
– – O2 o 37, 38
– – O2 Priority 37
– – pay-TV 26, 27, 29, 31, 36
Tutela Technologies 15
Twitter 29

V

Verizon Communications 39
– Verizon Wireless 39
Videobuster.de 35
Vodafone Group 15, 35, 36, 37
– Germany 35
– Spain 36
– UK 37
Volkswagen Group
– SEAT 12

W

Wyplay 26, 27, 30, 31

Z

ZTE 12, 17

About

About Telefónicawatch

Report: #123
Published: January 2018
Next report: February 2018
For more information visit: Telefónicawatch