The price consumers pay for cable VoIP has been dropping, getting closer to the fees that independent Internet phone services charge – provided cable VoIP is part of a bundle.
By leveraging the bundle, cable operators are bringing the prices for voice-over-Internet-Protocol service, or VoIP, within as little as $10 per month over leading independent services such as Vonage, according to Pike & Fischer’s Broadband Advisory Services group.
And as VoIP usage expands from early adopters to the mass market, independent providers will be at a fundamental disadvantage since they cannot guarantee the same reliability and ease of use that a cable company can deliver, the report concludes.
“Cable VoIP pricing is likely to make it increasingly difficult for independent providers to win market share, especially as VoIP adoption expands from early adopters to mass market users,” said analyst Mitchell Shapiro, author of the report. “The non-techie users will demand greater reliability, minimal learning curves and the convenience of receiving their voice, video and data services from one company and on one bill.”
Cable’s advantage will only become more pronounced once the industry starts offering converged services such as caller ID on TV, the report added.