Integra5 Rolls the Dice

The big question is whether consumers will actually pay something extra for these convergence products

Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

April 10, 2007

2 Min Read
Integra5 Rolls the Dice

Now that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , and Bright House Networks are rolling out their new wireless convergence services with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), the big question is whether consumers will actually pay something extra for these products.

Put Integra5 Communications Inc. CEO Meredith Flynn-Ripley down for a strong yes vote. She says her company's early commercial experience with Caller ID on TV shows that cable and telco subscribers are willing to pay a little bit more each month for phone features on their precious TV screens.

Of course, Flynn-Ripley's firm has a big stake in the matter because it helped launch the TV Caller ID application more than two years ago. In fact, Integra5, which announced its largest deployment yet with WOW last week, now offers its TV Caller ID service to nearly 1 million cable and telco homes throughout the U.S.

Among Integra5's customers, WOW and Knology Inc. (Nasdaq: KNOL) both charge a small, monthly à la carte fee for the service while a third broadband provider, Everest Broadband Networks , charges a slightly higher price for a bundle that includes TV Caller ID. As a result, Flynn-Ripley estimates that up to two-thirds of her firm's TV Caller ID users are paying for the privilege.

"Surveys show that this is a service that people are willing to pay for," she says. "Our customers are seeing the value."

Fine. But will consumers continue to pay extra as Integra5 and its customers branch out to other incremental convergence products, such as PC Caller ID, TV message waiting, text messaging to TV screens, and even voice mail on the TV?

Integra5 and cable operators certainly hope so. The jury, however, is still out. Stay tuned.

— Alan Breznick, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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