AT&T has been testing Homezone in several states and expects to launch the new service throughout its 13-state region later this summer.
San Mateo, Calif.-based Akimbothat's similar to Apple Computer's iPod-iTunes combination. Instead of selling music, Akimbo sells video that can be downloaded from the Internet onto the set-top box.
Homezone, a cross between a satellite TV service and IPTV, offers consumers a set-top box that gets satellite TV programming from Dish Network and also connects to a DSL line to offer Internet-based services from providers like Akimbo. It will be offered to AT&T customers where AT&T's new IPTV service called U-verse is not offered. And in markets where U-verse is available, Homezone will be offered as a secondary option, a company spokesman said.
AT&T plans to offer its Homezone subscribers the Akimbo Service, which, and the Akimbo Player set-top box, which stores 150 hours of video. Exact pricing hasn't been disclosed, but Akimbo sells the service for $9.99 per month, and the set-top box costs about $199.99.
Adding TV to its lineup of services is crucial for AT&T, as it competes with cable operators that have already begun. AT&T is spending billions of dollars upgrading its existing network with fiber that reaches deeper into communities to boost broadband speeds. This new network, called , will let AT&T offer consumers Internet-based TV, phone service and ultra high-speed broadband that is comparable to, or even more robust than, services from its cable rivals.
AT&T plans to have Lightspeed available to about 80 percent of its customers in the next three years. It's already.