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Comcast tees up cloud-based phone service for businesses

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 3:00pm
Mike Robuck

Comcast continued its push in the commercial services sector with the recent launch of a cloud-based VoIP service for businesses.

Comcast Business VoiceEdge is currently deployed across most of the cable operator’s Northeastern Division, which includes 14 states from Maine through Virginia and the District of Columbia, as well as Chicago. Comcast hopes to have it available across its entire footprint by the end of this year.

The service, which was developed as the result of Comcast’s purchase of New Global Telecom two years ago, is yet another effort by Comcast to lure business customers away from large phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

“What sets Comcast apart from other players in this space is that we’re the only provider to combine a cloud-based voice service with vast network reach, a well-known brand, and a strong focus on providing great products with high quality and consistency,” said Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business Services. “Businesses, especially those with a distributed workforce, need a reliable and consistent voice solution that allows their “on-the-go” employees to stay connected anytime and anywhere. Together with our Ethernet and alongside our PRI services, we are now delivering an array of solutions for all types of mid-size organizations.”

VoiceEdge includes unlimited nationwide calling, Polycom phones at no additional charge, HD audio, and advanced unified communications and mobility features. The service has a downloadable client that enables click-to-dial and service management from within Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

It also integrates employees’ work lines with their mobile device, home office or other locations to have calls follow them or push/pull them between devices without having to disconnect and then reconnect the call.

On the cost savings side of the ledger, Comcast said VoiceEdge eliminated the need for onsite PBX equipment and key systems.

In its most recent earnings report last month, Comcast said business services were the second-largest contributor to cable revenue growth last year, with revenue increasing 41 percent to $1.8 billion, with most of that growth coming from the businesses with less than 20 employees.

On the earnings call, Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis said business services represented a $20 billion to $30 billion opportunity in Comcast’s markets, and Comcast’s penetration was 10 percent at the end of the fourth quarter.

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