Singtel rolls out smart-home service to residents

Telco joins Internet service provider ViewQwest in the smart-home market

Telco Singtel has entered the smart-home arena, launching a service yesterday aimed at homeowners who want a smart-home set-up without having to assemble multiple devices, each with its own app.

It joins Internet service provider ViewQwest in the market, which last November offered free smart- home device installation to its fibre broadband customers and also sold smart-home products such as the Amazon Echo.

Singtel will install a central smart-home hub with devices such as cameras, motion sensors and smart locks for those who sign up for its Singtel SmartHome service, which starts from $25 per month.

Users will control these products through an app called true-i, developed by Singtel's smart-home partner Hanman International.

The app allows users to unlock their smart lock remotely, stream live video from webcams to their phones or turn off appliances connected to the system.

Existing Singtel Fibre customers can sign up for one of two starter kits, which come with a two-year contract for the smart- home service.

The Contact Sensor kit comes with a smart hub and a sensor, which triggers a notification when it detects movement on what it is attached to. It costs $25 per month.

The Smart Door Lock kit comes with a smart hub and Samsung smart lock, and costs $45 per month.

Non-Singtel Fibre customers can also purchase these kits for a one-time fee of $650 and $1,260 respectively.

Other smart-home products which work with the central hub and app cost extra. A smart plug with a wireless chip that lets users turn off power to appliances costs $80, also a one-time payment.

A remote control extender that allows users to control their television or air-conditioning are other services that can be added.

The telco plans to extend the automation to lighting as well, which will require installation of wireless receivers in the lighting relay panels in homes.

Singtel's vice-president of consumer products Wong Soon Nam said: "The time is right. The smart nation programme initiated by the Government also created a certain momentum - people now embrace smart homes and it's a reality now."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2016, with the headline 'Singtel rolls out smart-home service to residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe