O2 becomes first operator to launch consumer smart home service in UK

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Three packages each offering various smart home appliances are currently available

O2 has become the first operator in the UK to launch a new service allowing customers to install and use smart technology in their homes for a monthly fee.

The new offering, called O2 Home, comes in three two-year packages. Subscribers can adjust lighting, heating or security in their houses remotely using their smartphone. These functions are enabled through appliances connected to an ‘O2 Smart Hub.’ The user simply pairs their device to this hub where they can then control all the smart products from one app.

Vodafone had launched a similar product in Germany two years ago. Like O2’s recent service, subscribers can sign up to several packages which include various connected lightbulbs, thermostats, and cameras.

Included smart products vary with each of the three plans. For example, some will include a smart plug. This allows the user to remotely activate or deactivate any electrical product connected to it. Others will have an open and close sensor. These are designed to be attached to a window and home owners will receive smartphone alerts whenever they are opened or closed.

Pricing

The first package is O2 Home Comfort (£30 per month), which includes a tado smart thermometer, two smart plugs and one presence sensor. The second is O2 Home View (also £30 per month). This includes a Samsung wide view camera, an open and close sensor and one presence sensor. The cheapest option is O2 Home Connect (£20 per month), which has two presence sensors, two smart plugs and two open and close sensors. Separate devices can also be purchased for an additional fee.

The service is currently only available to London residents, with a further UK rollout expected in coming months. Those who sign up between September 1 and September 14 will get their first year free. Packages can be purchased either online or at branches in Westfield White City, Tottenham Court Road, Kingston and Watford. Equipment will be installed for free and customers can get annual health checks at no extra cost.

Simple package

O2 marketing and consumer director Nina Bibby said: “Keeping your home up to date with technology shouldn’t be complicated, so we’ve brought together connectivity and smart technology in a simple package to give customers peace of mind wherever they are.

“We’ve made everything simple with installation experts to help set things up and an app to monitor and control your home 24 hours a day.”

The new product comes after a survey of 2,000 conducted by the operator in July this year. It found that 73 respondent were interested in adding smart technology to their homes. Only five per cent, however, said they were going through with it. More than 60 per cent said they lacked the confidence to install and run smart home products, whilst 15 per cent said they didn’t understand what it is.

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