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Cable/Video

Comcast Takes Business Voice Mobile

In a sign that cable companies are still eager to bulk up their business service offerings, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is adding several new mobile features to its hosted voice solution, Business VoiceEdge, which launched last spring.

The new VoiceEdge features include a mobile app for managing voicemail and user location settings, a teleworker function for extending service access to remote employees, and a "softphone" feature that allows users to place calls from a computer using their business phone numbers. The Business VoiceEdge softphone also enables support for high-definition video calls over computers.

Commercial services represent a high-growth area for cable companies. Even as they continue to lose residential video subscribers to their telecom counterparts, cable operators are gaining share in the business services market. As of May, for instance, Comcast was on track to reach nearly $3 billion in commercial services revenue for all of 2013, easily a new record high. (See Cox Targets SMBs With Hosted Voice.)

Cable companies still have a way to go, however, on the customer service front. While the latest J.D. Power and Associates study ranked cable companies high in the very small business segment (companies with fewer than 20 employees), cable’s customer satisfaction ranking was significantly lower among small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises. (See Small Firms Love Cable.)

Comcast is clearly hoping that its latest feature additions to the VoiceEdge service will help it gain more SMB fans. VoiceEdge is now available across Comcast’s footprint, putting it in 20 of the top 25 US markets.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable

albreznick 9/20/2013 | 5:43:31 PM
Re: I don't see anything terribly new here... I agree to a point, Carol. Nothing new for SMBs here. What is new is that Comcast is offering these apps for the first time. MSOs are playing catchup ball in the mobile arena and will likely continue to do so for a while. 
Carol Wilson 9/20/2013 | 2:51:34 PM
I don't see anything terribly new here... This stuff is all good but not ground-breaking, I don't think. It's a little like fulling in the portfolio stuff to me. The softphone feature has been around for ages. 
albreznick 9/20/2013 | 11:15:42 AM
mobilocity Well, it's about time cable operators started adding mobile apps to their commercial voice services. This is their weak link in both the residential and commercial markets. Will be interesting to see how much of a difference this makes for Comcast now. Hopefully, the other MSOs will soon be following suit. 
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