& cplSiteName &

Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
4/7/2009
50%
50%

Following trials in Miami and Jacksonville, Fla., Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is preparing the nationwide launch of an "enhanced cordless phone" that will marry its VoIP service with email, voice mail, light Web access, and a universal address book.

The product features (deep breath!) a new Docsis/PacketCable-powered embedded multimedia terminal adapter (E-MTA) that provides an IP-based digital interface to a DECT-based wireless handset. (Sigh!)

Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453) is supplying Comcast with the initial version, but "there will be other manufacturers," Comcast senior VP of voice services Cathy Avgiris told Cable Digital News last week. A Thomson spokesman says the vendor plans to sell the product, dubbed internally as the Advanced Cable Gateway, to MSOs other than Comcast.

Show stuff

As for Comcast's plans, the MSO will link the new phone kit with SmartZone, a "communications center" Comcast introduced about two years ago that provides cable modem subs with direct access to their email and voice mail messages, an instant messaging application, and an integrated address book. (See Comcast Gets the (Unified) Message .)

Comcast finished moving about 24.5 million mailboxes to the SmartZone platform about two weeks ago, though the service went down briefly late last week due to some "technical problems" with the SmartZone servers.

Avgiris said Comcast expects to integrate SmartZone with the MSO's WiMax service, which is slated for a mid-year launch in Portland, Ore. Comcast, one of the Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) investors, hasn't announced any further deployment plans involving WiMax. (See Comcast WiMaxes Portland and Cable Plays Clearwire Card.)

Portland is an obvious target market, but Comcast has not spelled out precisely where and when the enhanced cordless phone will be offered initially. Avgiris said the MSO anticipates marketing it to "triple-play" customers for an incremental cost of about $5 per month. That will cover the EMTA and one DECT handset. Customers can purchase additional phones directly from Comcast for about $35 each.

Comcast is also working on a new home handset with a full keypad. "It's a spec'd product," Avgiris said. There's no word yet whether a future EMTA/gateway will bake in a Femtocell, as well, but Comcast is eager to link the mini-base-station technology to its forthcoming WiMax offering. (See Comcast Goes for WiMax Femtocells.)

Avgiris said Comcast views the enhanced cordless phone product as a retention tool, and as a way to prevent some customers from snipping their landline phone services in favor of wireless. "It's like a digital video upgrade, but on the voice side," says Heavy Reading senior analyst Alan Breznick. "You get to keep the customers you have, and get more money from them."

The product may also help Comcast protect itself from other beefy kitchen phones that aim to enhance existing voice products. Of recent note is the Verizon Wireless "Hub," a broadband-fed home media unit that features a touch screen and bridges together the company's wired and wireless services. But that product, launched in February, isn't cheap. Verizon is charging $199.99, plus a $34.99 monthly service fee. (See Verizon's Home Hub-Bub (But No Femto) and 'Verizon Hub' Debuts Feb. 1.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Alittletooraph
50%
50%
Alittletooraph,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:11 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


At least relevant enough for Comcast to invest in something like this.  Their newer investments in Voice over IP for business make more sense.  I read somewhere that nearly 30% of people in the US no longer own a home phone, and that number will only increase as more and more people start relying on their smartphones for everything.  The only 'fixed' line that people should have (and by 'fixed', I mean an actual traditional telephone) is the one sitting on their desk in the office.  


As far as I can tell, all the major providers are investing heavily in VoIP for SMBs.  Although I don't understand why Comcast's plans are so expensive...  There are plenty of other hosted services that do exactly what they do for much cheaper, and offer more control, no contracts etc.  Here's an example:  OnSIP

nealbert
50%
50%
nealbert,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:32 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


Comcast should concentrate on businesses.  Home phone service is dying.


AVAD Technologies: Business VoIP Provider 

jsmithstone
50%
50%
jsmithstone,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:29:14 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


Comcast does appear to increasing its focus in the business voip service market and is getting more aggressive in its offerings and advertising. Do a quick google search for "business voip" and it seems like comcast is always at the top of the advertising list for what would appear to be keywords that are expensive and competitive to bid for in Google.

SergeyVoice
50%
50%
SergeyVoice,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:13:12 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


There is no really big market, but anyway some need this for tests and departments, so wlike any other stuff will be okay, maybe it will be good upsell with voip service and other telecom services!

JCBlack
50%
50%
JCBlack,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:21:33 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


Think it is a cool phone and reasonably priced considering it handles Voip Phone Service seemlessly and has many features that one usually finds only on cell phones or more expensive phone equipment. 

thinkbright
50%
50%
thinkbright,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:16:14 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


Comcast should try enhancing the home phone with nifty features such as Voicemail to email and call forwarding. Things you only get with Business VOIP Services.


 


Jeff Jones


ThinkBright Multiline Business VOIP

menexis
50%
50%
menexis,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:07:36 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


I'm not even sure how great of a catch the enhanced cordless home phone will be for Comcast because since Vereizon wireless HUB launched, there has not been much craze about that product.

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:07:33 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


The Hub is an interesting product, but I imagine the high price for the device, plus a subscription fee, is keeping demand limited particularly at a time in which consumers are tightening their belts. As for Comcast's approach, the price at least seems right. $5 per month more isn't too much to ask for those new features if voice customers are truly interested in having them....but we'll have to wait and see if that's in fact the incremental cost they go to market with.

GaryEEE
50%
50%
GaryEEE,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:55:31 PM
re: Comcast Enhancing the Home Phone


The price is right at five bucks but I don't know that there is a huge market for this amongst the non-teckys.  Perhaps they will push it when signing up new customers for voip service.

From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (2) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
BBC Head: We Must Reinvent Broadcasting for a New Generation
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/21/2017
NFV, SDN, Big Data – It's All About Automation
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 7/21/2017
What's a Little Throttling Between Friends?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/24/2017
Qualcomm Takes Q3 Pummeling From Apple
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.