Where's My TV Caller ID?

10:30 AM SureWest is on board, finally

June 18, 2009

2 Min Read
Where's My TV Caller ID?

10:30 AM -- I read today that SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW) has launched TV Caller ID in its Sacramento market. (See SureWest Offers Caller ID on TV.) Good for them. Although I was somewhat surprised that SureWest hadn’t launched the service long ago.

SureWest has quite an innovation legacy -- I easily pegged them as an early adopter of TV Caller ID. Wrong. Which leads me to my next question: Where is TV Caller ID for FiOS? For that matter, why does any telcoTV provider not offer TV Caller ID? It seems like such a no brainer to me.

Here you have a traditional telco service that has been adapted for video and delivers considerable incremental value. Yet many telcos do not provide it (although many do), allowing cable (and even DBS) competitors to beat them to the punch with it. That’s a mistake in my view. Telcos should not cede the next-generation version of a traditional telco service to non-telco competitors -- especially one that has proven to offer tangible differentiation qualities. In a marketplace where innovation and convenience are so valued (and potentially profitable), why would you let your non-telco competitor be perceived as the innovator of telco features?

Now maybe there is some legitimate technical reason why some telcoTV providers are slow to implement TV Caller ID. If so, I would advocate moving that issue to the top of the priority list. I say that as an industry analyst and as a current FiOS customer. After all, I don’t want to get up during the game to see who is calling any more than a Cox Communications Inc. or Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) subscriber does.

— Bernardin Arnason, Managing Partner, Pivot Group , and Chairman, TelcoTV 2009

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.

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