Pro One expands BellSouth offering

Saturday, June 1, 2002

TOPEKA, Kan.-Protection One and telecom BellSouth Corp. have expanded their co-branded home security offering to another major southeastern market, Birmingham, Ala.

That city is the eighth market in BellSouth's nine-state region that houses a BellSouth Security Systems from Protection One branch. In this case, the Protection One branch there was renamed for the partnership, said Protection One spokeswoman Robin Lampe.

Although company officials declined to give details as to how many subscribers have signed on as a result of the relationship, Lampe said the two companies had just renewed their partnership for a multi-year term. The original agreement, which was announced more than a year ago, called for a six-month trial, which expired in the first quarter of this year.

Lampe said the companies expect to announce additional cities in the Southeast where BellSouth Security Systems from Protection One branches will open. So far, branches are open in Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Orlando, Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Birmingham.

Company officials had originally predicted that the service would be in ten major markets by the end of 2001, but said the economic downturn had an adverse affect on sales and the uniqueness of the offering made expansion plans hard to project.

While Protection One provides all the installing, billing, service and monitoring, BellSouth, which serves 14 million consumers in the Southeast, lends its strong brand to the partnership.

"Customers in and across the region look to BellSouth for vital services, and security is just a logical extension of that," said Pam Jones, vice president, strategy and marketing for BellSouth.

Lampe said Protection One would possibly consider similar alliances based on this one's success.