Comcast is joining the caller ID on the television party. While a little late to the party, they plan on moving aggressively into the converged communications arena with other services as well. Caller ID TV will be available in August, followed by caller ID on the PC and visual voicemail for the TV early next year. Other cable MSOs including Cablevision have been offering Caller ID TV for some time. Telecom competitors have also been offering it for some time. Comcast also announced the launch of a “fourth” screen product, similar to Embarq’s eGo phone.
Comcast’s move into converged communications raises the bar for everyone. They are now the fourth largest phone company in the U.S., and competitors who don’t have these services in Comcast’s markets will be at a disadvantage. Caller ID TV is an extremely sticky service that subscribers come to love very quickly. Its value was initially underestimated, but it’s now one of the most successful differentiating applications available. Any service provider looking to compete in the marketplace today is basically compelled to offer it.