Light Reading
Top MSO becomes latest player to abandon paid video chat

Comcast Shuts Premium Skype Service

Mari Silbey
5/8/2013
50%
50%

Given the ubiquity of free video chat, it's hard to make the case for Skype on TV at US$10 per month. After a year of trying, Comcast Corp. will quietly shut down its Xfinity Skype service on June 1. Comcast will continue to support existing customers. Skype on Xfinity launched ahead of the Cable Show last year, with service starting in Boston and Seattle. Triple-play customers were offered the TV-based videoconferencing product with a free hardware kit that included a video camera, adapter box and remote control. At $9.95 a month, however, DSLReports has confirmed that the service suffered poor adoption rates. (See also Consumers Embrace Video Calling, if It's Free.) Comcast isn't the only company that has tried to make a go of paid video chat. WorldGate and Motorola Inc. pushed hard eight years ago for the Ojo videophone, which promised high-quality video conversations, but the retail equipment cost several hundred dollars. Then there was Cisco Systems Inc. with its expensive umi home videophone service. Both ventures ended badly. (See The End of the World[Gate] and Cisco's Farewell to Consumers.) This latest videoconferencing failure doesn't mean cable is done with telepresence, however. Comcast and Rogers Communications Inc. invested $15 million in Tely Labs only seven months ago with the hope of wooing commercial customers to videophone service. (See Comcast & Rogers Plows $15M into Telepresence.) Tely Labs has used the funding to introduce telyHD Business Edition, a premium videoconferencing service aimed at the SMB market. — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Telco
50%
50%
Telco,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/9/2013 | 2:29:09 PM
re: Comcast Shuts Premium Skype Service
We still have a problem of launching anything or only home runs. Some companies launch anything and support as much new technology to get/keep any subscriber while others launch only those that will increase subscribers by 5%. The pitfalls- if you launch anything, you irritate those who look at margins for each silo while you please many community of users. If you launch only the home runs, you push users who need specialty requirements to small service provides who only need to feed 100 to 500 employee families. Same argument as 20 years ago. Asia carriers turn on all features while European and NA carriers only turn-on hopeful home-runs.
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
5/9/2013 | 12:16:35 AM
re: Comcast Shuts Premium Skype Service
Craig- Given all the disasters preceding it, it's hard to imagine how this ever got off the ground.
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/8/2013 | 7:36:55 PM
re: Comcast Shuts Premium Skype Service
Does this surprise anyone? From the moment it was announced the service was dogged by questions of why people would pay to put Skype on TV when you can get it on a laptop for free. Our friends and family can only look so good on a big-screen HDTV. "Hey Grandpa, back away from the camera!"
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (11) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (1) comment


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed