NEW YORK -- Future of Cable Business Services -- Comcast is trialing SIP trunking in three US markets and plans to take the VoIP-based service nationwide by the end of 2014.
John Guillaume, vice president of product management and strategy at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), said in a panel discussion here Wednesday that the cable company's trials are going "extremely well," but it has been proceeding with caution. Interoperability has been the biggest challenge Comcast has faced with SIP, so it's using a limited number of PBXs to make sure they all work together.
Comcast plans to roll the service out nationwide by the end of 2014, and it is working on expanding PBX interoperability. "SIP is the natural next stepping stone to complete [Comcast's] portfolio; 85% of the market is still PRI, but SIP is 15% and growing much faster, instead of being a declining market."
Also, Comcast is looking to expand into larger businesses. It's leading with SIP, but it's not religious about what the enterprise chooses, whether it be cloud-based, SIP, POTS, or another form of technology. In its experience so far, most customers end up buying multiple solutions. "The portfolio is what we're most enthusiastic about," he said. "We want to make sure customers pull voice along, like with every Internet and data service we do."
Guillaume conceded that Comcast is late to an already mature market, but he said competing with telcos is one thing it does well. Its strengths in high-speed Internet and Ethernet, coupled with the talent it gained from its acquisitions of Cimco and New Global Telecom, have strengthened its play here. (See Comcast to Acquire New Global Telecom and Comcast Snares a CLEC.)
"Large customers want to purchase Ethernet network service and combine it with a PBX and manage it more efficiently than before," he said. "It's a great service offering for business. It's a natural combination when you go into the midmarket."
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading