While Comcast is already a widely-known name when it comes to residential communications, its presence among the small and medium-sized business (SMB) trade isn't quite so pronounced. In a bid to go a little harder after the medium-sized end of the SMB spectrum, and take a little focus off of small businesses, Comcast is getting ready to roll out SIP trunking systems in a bid to offer voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service to users by the end of this year.
The entire cable TV industry, at last report, is seeing a great potential for growth in the SMB market, as business data and video traffic is expected to keep growing. More companies taking advantage of video conferencing methods and the like put a lot of extra potential into the cable field, but in order to take advantage of that potential, the industry needs to bring out the appropriate services for SMBs. VoIP is a big part of that, so Comcast is positioning itself to get into that field.
Comcast has already been spotted taking several measures that would line up with the idea including the acquisition of companies like New Global Telecom—which specialized in VoIP service—and Cimco Communications, a local exchange carrier. Take these two product lines and match same with Comcast's high-speed connections and it's a prime recipe for a new product in the market.
Comcast isn't alone in this development, according to reports; reports suggest that Time Warner Cable is also expanding the SMB market in a bid to fend off competition from AT&T and Verizon, who were looking to offer fiber-based video to the SMB market. With the business services market in the United States reaching about $8 billion, there's a clear opportunity both now and in the future, especially given that the SMB segment will potentially offer a market opportunity that's worth anywhere from $20-$30 billion. Business services has already proven a good fit for both Comcast and Time Warner, who were expected to realize over $3 billion and nearly $2.5 billion from the field respectively.
The size of the market, coupled with the fact that this is a market that has already meant at least some profit for Comcast, means it's reasonable that Comcast would expand. Bringing things like VoIP service and videoconferencing to users is the kind of thing that should be well received by the SMB community, especially given the potential these technologies have to reduce costs. Some education on the value of VoIP would likely prove handy here as well, likely easily accomplished with some simple meet-and-greet style events.
Better yet, users could get involved at the upcoming ITEXPO event, set to take place in Miami Beach January 28 – 31. There, a session called “Security Issues in SIP Based VoIP Server” will offer a look at some issues around SIP, VoIP, and communications services, perfect for the SMB looking to expand.
Still, it looks like a smart idea for Comcast, and one that should pay dividends not too far from when it starts rolling out. It will be a point worth watching to see just how far into the SMB market Comcast can go.