Comcast gears up for converged services on TV, Internet, phones

Thu, 07/24/2008 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Comcast is gearing up for the deployment next month of caller ID on TVs, with caller ID on PCs slated to follow early next year.

A spokesperson for Comcast also confirmed that the company will offer cordless phones either late this summer or in early fall. The cordless phone for the first deployment will be from Thomson, but other vendors will also provide the handsets to Comcast.

The cordless phone will allow Comcast customers to access their e-mail, weather, stock tickers and other features while in their homes.

As for caller ID on TV, Comcast’s spokesperson declined to say if it’s provisioned through an in-house technology or through a vendor.

Comcast is playing catch-up with several cable operators on the caller ID on TV front. Several years ago, Time Warner Cable (TWC) rolled out a caller ID on TV service in its New York division that was developed by the cable company. Since then, the TV caller ID has been implemented in several TWC divisions.

In November of last year, Cablevision made caller ID on TV available for free to all of its digital phone customers (story here), and then it announced in March that it had surpassed one billion caller ID on TV messages on its customers’ TV screens (story here).

Vendor Integra5 has also deployed the service with numerous smaller service providers, as well as caller ID on PCs to both cable and IPTV service providers late last year and earlier this year.

In addition to incremental revenues, if a service provider decides to charge for either converged service, studies by Integra5 have shown that blended services are well received by customers and can reduce churn in the face of competition.

One of the differences in Comcast’s caller ID on TV service is a “snooze” feature that allows subscribers to use their guides to turn off the service for various lengths of time if they don’t want, for example, caller ID messages popping up during a movie.

According to published reports, Comcast is also working on universal address books and visual voicemails. The plan, according to the Comcast spokesperson, is to bring all of the converged services features together across TVs, PCs and phones.

More Broadband Direct:

• Comcast gears up for converged services on TV, Internet, phones

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• Broadband Briefs for 7/24/08


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