Comcast Gears Up Home-Gateway Launch

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Comcast plans to commercially launch an enhanced wireless-phone service geared around Thomson's home gateways in the third quarter, the companies announced Monday.

Thomson's Advanced Cable Gateway lets subscribers use cordless phone handsets to view e-mail; access voicemail; read news, weather and sports; and click-to-call from a universal address book, directory or call logs.

"Thomson's highly innovative Advanced Cable Gateway devices are a central part of our rollout of enhanced digital communications services," Comcast chief technology officer Tony Werner said in a statement. "The new device will enable Comcast to offer a whole new level of services to our subscribers. We will thus not only be improving the phone services within the home, but expanding the visual experience beyond the TV and PC."

The ACG integrates an embedded multimedia terminal adapter (eMTA) with a Wi-Fi router and provides multiple phone lines via Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) wireless phone handsets.

Comcast didn't announce pricing for the service, but reportedly was considering offering the ACG for $5 per month.

Thomson supplies other residential broadband products to Comcast, including cable modems, eMTAs and digital transport adapters.

Thomson said it is currently working on a second-generation DTA, which it said will be smaller than an iPhone-like device.

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