AT&T’s Glenn Lurie Says Everything in Your Life Will Be Connected

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AT&T’s Glenn Lurie Says Everything in Your Life Will Be Connected

October 19, 2015 Uncategorized 0

AT&T’s Glenn Lurie Says Everything in Your Life Will Be Connected

AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie predicts that every device in your life — from your car to your phone to, presumably, your washing machine — will be connected to the Internet in the not too distant future.

In the inaugural interview session of the Code/Mobile conference Wednesday at The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Lurie said this is the vision of the connected future that the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier is building toward.

Naturally, that’s something AT&T plans to charge for — though Lurie noted that the carrier is weighing different pricing options. So not every device will automatically add $10 to the monthly wireless bill.

“We’ll have to have multiple situations and price points,” Lurie said. “There may be situations where it eats out of the same [data] bucket. … We’ll have to work through that based on customer demand.”

The company is well suited to talk about the new directions for mobile, because most of its recent customer gains have come from cars and other connected devices.

Lurie described the smartphone as “the remote control for your life.” But increasingly, AT&T sees opportunity in bringing wireless connectivity to the car. The company announced last week that it expects to add another two million customers this quarter, largely on continued strength in cars, but also including some gain in phone customers.

“Really, the car is becoming a smartphone with four wheels,” Lurie said. “And we’re pretty good at this smartphone thing.”

The new automotive market is not without risk. Automakers are concerned about safety and security — especially with the high profile example in Wired of hackers killing a Jeep as it rolled down the freeway. Lurie said such threats call for increased vigilance.

“The reality is, it’s got to be paramount,” he said. “The good guys have got to watch what the bad guys are doing out there.”

Lurie held to his predictions that smartwatches and other wearable devices will similarly be connected to wireless networks without need of a smartphone.

AT&T’s view of the untethered wearable devices is an intuitive one, he said, whether for an athlete who wants to exercise without lugging a second device, or a parent who wants the freedom to remain in his or her own home as they age. Lurie said there will first need to be advances in battery life and ease of use.

“For the common folks out there we’ve got to make it simple,” Lurie said. “We want people to feel comfortable.”