Comcast Mulling $5 Premium for Internet-Connected Cordless Phone


Comcast is preparing to launch its Internet/e-mail-enabled cordless phone gateways nationwide, and is looking at charging $5 per month for the service, Jeff Baumgartner at Cable Digital News reports.

The MSO has trialed the devices in Miami and Jacksonville, Fla., but has not revealed where the units will first be available commercially, according to Baumgartner’s post.

Comcast originally was hoping to have launched the cordless phones in early 2008. (See Comcast to Sell Its Own Cordless Phones.)

Thomson is supplying its Advanced Cable Gateway (ACG) to Comcast, which integrates an embedded multimedia terminal adapter (eMTA), Wi-Fi router and provides multiple phone lines via Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) wireless phones. (See Comcast Gets Gadget Happy.)

The ACG, as deployed by Comcast, will let subscribers access to their e-mail and voice mail, instant-messaging and an integrated address book — provided through the MSO’s SmartZone integrated-communications portal, according to CDN.

Thomson was showing off the ACG at last year’s Cable Show in New Orleans (see pic below of the device, with a white finish; the one on display at this year’s confab had a black finish).

As Baumgartner points out, the concept is similar to Verizon Wireless’ Hub, which delivers a plethora of news, info and communications services over any Internet connection. (See Verizon Pushes ‘Hub’ Phone Over the Top.) The Verizon Hub is manufactured by Boca Raton, Fla.-based OpenPeak.