Comcast is offering subscribers in Fort Myers, Fla., first dibs on HomePoint, an enhanced wireless-phone system developed by Thomson that provides e-mail, phone directories, news and weather in the palm of your hand.
The operator has launched the HomePoint phones and service in Fort Myers, and will be expanding into additional markets soon, Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas said.
Comcast previously announced that it planned to commercially launch the Thomson gateways and wireless phones in the third quarter.
The HomePoint wireless handsets include a small color LCD screen, and the base station can support up to five sets using the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) standard.
From any handset, customers can check Comcast.net e-mail accounts; access their online address book and click to dial phone numbers; see a visual list of voicemail messages; access local phone directories; get a weather forecast; and scan news, sports and daily horoscopes.
The service requires Comcast Digital Voice service and the HomePoint gateway carries a $5 per month lease fee, the same as the operator's regular voice modems.
Each HomePoint handset is $39.99. Shipping is free with the first order; additional handset orders carry a $5.95 charge. While customers can use up to five HomePoint handsets, the service only supports one telephone number.
Customers can choose a self-install option. However, according to the operator's FAQ section, if you set up HomePoint service yourself, "it cannot be connected to the telephone jacks in your home unless you order the service via our professional installation option." The HomePoint gateway does not currently support home-alarm systems.