Cable Show 2011: What's Next For Cable Voice?


Cable began pushing phone service in earnest more than five years ago — and the business has more than doubled in size over that time.

U.S. operators boosted their residential telephony customers from 9.4 million in 2006 to 23.5 million residential telephony in 2010, according to SNL Kagan. Revenue increased 271% over that time period, from $3.4 billion to $9.2 billion, the research firm estimates.

But the glory days of wildfire growth for cable telephony are over. SNL Kagan forecasts only modest growth for the next few years, with subs increasing to 25.5 million next year and 26.0 million by 2014.

Part of this is that it’s a maturing product line and cable phone services are widely adopted. (Comcast became the third-largest U.S. voice provider in 2009 and now counts 8.87 million Digital Voice customers.)

But just as the surge in mobile phones has been cutting into the telcos’ landline businesses, the MSOs will increasingly run into consumers who just don’t want or need traditional phone service anymore.

This is really just a long-winded way of telling you about a panel I’m moderating next week at the Cable Show in Chicago, “Talk About a Dream: Directions in Cable Voice,” on Tuesday, June 14, at 4 p.m.

With me to talk about the future of cable’s voice business will be: Cathy Avgiris, Comcast Cable’s SVP & GM, Communications & Data Services; Philip Nutsugah, Cox Communications’ VP, data & voice product development & management; Joe Varello, Cablevision Systems’ VP, business and voice product management; and Christine Kurth, policy director & wireline counsel, in the Office of FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell.

Join us for what promises to be a lively and timely session!

Click here for more Cable Show 2011 coverage.


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