Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Choose Cable Co. for Phone Services

Telephone service via a cable TV provider has gone from something of a curiosity among voice services to a widely available service. In fact, in a few countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, cable telephony has become a common choice for wired telephone service.

According to In-Stat, even with the increasingly widespread availability of cable telephony service, there are some critics who remain skeptical about the long-term viability of the service. When queried about this, most cable TV operators point out the following:

- A cable TV service bundle of video, high-speed data and telephony is a compelling package, and it continues to attract entertainment and information-hungry consumers.

- Advances in hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network technology are providing a cost-effective way to provision telephony services over the existing cable TV infrastructure.

- The widespread availability of VoIP-based cable telephony services is also enhancing the cost competitiveness of cable telephony services.

Recent growth in the number of cable telephony subscribers appears to support the cable operator's statements. As of mid-2008, over 34 million subscribers around the world had signed up for cable telephony service.

In the U.S. alone, the total number of subscribers has risen from 250,000 in early 2000, to over 15 million today. In Europe the numbers are also impressive -- the region now has over 11 million cable telephony subscribers.

However, even with this impressive growth, cable operators still face challenges with their voice services. Foremost among these are continuing changes in telephony technology, shifting regulatory and legislative environments, and an ever-changing competitive landscape.