& 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.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
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.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.