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Cox Targets SMBs With Hosted Voice

Mari Silbey
5/2/2013
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Even as cable fights a losing battle for video subscribers, the industry is making up ground in the business services sector. Cox Communications Inc. is adding to its business portfolio today with a new cloud-based phone service dubbed VoiceManager IP Centrex. The company already counts more than 300,000 small and regional businesses in its customer set, and it's targeting further growth in the SMB market through the cloud services channel. The IP Centrex service is being marketed as "a sophisticated but easy-to-use phone system … fully managed by Cox Business." Subscribers pay no upfront equipment costs, but are outfitted with IP phones from Cisco Systems Inc. that promise HD voice quality. At Light Reading's The Future of Cable Business Services event last fall, a Cox Business Services executive said the MSO was on track to bring in US$1.4 billion in revenue from the sector in 2012. The company has a goal of passing $2 billion by 2016. (See Cox Business Plots Path to $2B in Revenues.) Meanwhile, Comcast Corp. said yesterday that it generated $741 million in business services revenue for the first quarter, which puts it on pace to reach almost $3 billion for all of 2013. (See Comcast Mines Business & Home Services.) The cable industry as a whole is increasing its share of the commercial services market at a rate of at least $1 billion per year. — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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