Embarq announced the launch of eGo, which attempts to bridge the value of broadband service with the ubiquity of home telephone service. It’s a continuation of a broad Embarq strategy to incrementally add value to traditional home telephone service, making it less vulnerable to being marginalized and replaced with wireless and/or VoIP alternatives. eGo phone handsets will sell online for $129.95 and in Embarq retail stores for $99.95. First reported by Light Reading, the new service provides access to data delivered via a broadband connection directly to a cordless home phone. Initially the service will provide visual voicemail, weather, yellow page directories, movie information, sports scores, and news headlines. The cordless phone has a “fourth screen” to display the information. Embarq hopes that customers will come to see eGo service as a resource to get information quickly, rather than retrieving that information from a laptop, TV, or home computer. Embarq also hopes those customers will then begin to see additional value for home phone service, and consequently be less likely to drop it for wireless only or VoIP service from a competitor. Verizon is looking at a similar strategy with their Verizon Hub service.
Embarq is seen as quite innovative in its pursuit of creating additional value for its core landline service. They are quite aggressive with applications like fixed mobile convergence and unified messaging, both of which make a landline more valuable. eGo is an extension of this strategy and aims to make Embarq landline services more appealing, and ultimately, more competitive.