Nine months later and the acquisition Comcast’s acquisition of Icontrol is now complete. Comcast has closed on the part of the Icontrol business that includes the Zigbee-based Converge platform, while Alarm.com now owns Icontrol’s Z-Wave-based Connect platform plus the Piper video security system.
Alarm.com is a monster in the home security department, but the story here is from a cable perspective regarding Comcast. Comcast has long relied on Icontrol technology for parts of its Xfinity Home system, but by bringing part of the company in house, the cable operator now has a burgeoning wholesale business, and the products and engineering talent to target major industry expansion.
Comcast, through Icontrol, powers home security and automation services for several large operators, including Cox Communications, Rogers Corp., and even Charter.
Comcast confirmed that Charter is still a customer through that company’s acquisition of TWC, which launched the Icontrol-powered Intelligent Home service in 2011. Charter did mentioned last year though that they will not be focusing on sales for the Intelligent Home platform while it assesses the business.
Comcast hasn’t announced how it will proceed in the wholesale market, but it’s apparent that it is breaking into other product areas, like it has with its X1 video platform.
Comcast Breaking Down Barriers
Currently the company licenses its X1 video platform to other cable operators, and recently the company confirmed it’s also helping Rogers deploy the new Comcast Digital Home solution, a WiFi-based whole-home networking platform that Comcast introduced in January.
Comcast has also hinted at ambitions to use its new smart home assets from Icontrol to broaden its role in the emerging of Internet of Things (IoT) sector. This includes the operation of an “IoT Center of Excellence” in Austin, and stated plans to invest in continued product and service development.
New developments in IoT could potentially lead to the pursuit of technology partnerships that would give Comcast a bridge into new industries and once again an edge above its competition in the cable sector.
New partnerships could include deals with utility companies to develop energy management solutions to make them become a household and commercial name in several industries other than cable.
In the near term, the acquisition of Icontrol at the very least gives Comcast a stronger foundation and better scale to drive revenue from its existing Xfinity Home product.