Time Warner’s Pace High on Telephony


With more than 200,000 cable-telephony subscribers already, Time Warner Inc. chief financial officer Wayne Pace told investors at an industry conference Tuesday that the number should grow substantially as its cable division begins to focus on marketing the service this year.

Pace, speaking at the Citigroup Smith Barney Media, Entertainment and Telecommunications conference in Phoenix, told the audience that Time Warner Cable -- which completed the rollout of voice service in all of its markets late last year -- is currently adding 11,000 new telephone customers per week.

Time Warner Cable spent most of last year deploying the voice service in all of its markets. With that done, the MSO can now focus on telephone-subscriber growth.

“This year, we’re going to look to execute and aggressively acquire subs as we deepen our footprint,” Pace said at the conference. He didn’t give any more details.

Pace said Time Warner’s focus has been on maximizing revenue from the home -- its current monthly average revenue per unit is about $70.

“We expect ARPU to continue to grow with the addition of voice and the further penetration of high-speed data and our advanced digital service,” Pace said.

While Time Warner sees substantial opportunity in the voice business -- the company estimated that voice service is a $13 billion-$16 billion annual market in its footprint -- Pace added that other advanced services are showing strong growth, as well.

Pace said basic-video subscribers rose sequentially in the fourth quarter, but he declined to be specific. He added that detailed numbers would be released with Time Warner’s fourth-quarter results in February.

Pace added that Time Warner Cable’s video-on-demand product -- which has been available for about two years -- is also gaining steam. He said more than 2 million of Time Warner Cable’s video customers view some form of on-demand programming each month.

In November, the MSO delivered 50 million video streams, or about 23 streams per household, comparable with the other industry VOD leader, Comcast Corp.

And Pace said high-speed-Internet revenue was up 26% in the first nine months of the year and shows no signs of slowing down. The MSO also grew data customers in the fourth quarter, “without marketing more aggressively on price,” he added.