The New York Times reports that Comcast attributes its strong fourth-quarter earnings in which profits tripled on bundled services (voice, video and Internet).
Competition is heating up in the triple-play space, as we keep saying. It should be more accurately called quad play given the ability for competing telcos to add wireless service to this product bundle. This could give them a competitive edge on cable companies to attract and retain customers, but cable companies have made steps to partner to bring in this capability. Comcast’s partnership with Nextel formed last year was for this very reason.
There will be lots of competition in this space over the next few years, both on price and features. Users will ultimately win. Providers will meanwhile use the fact that they “own” the network across many devices to move beyond their traditional status as a “dumb pipe” and instead position themselves as distributors of content and advertising.
Bring in the directory assets of telecoms and the local sales force of Comcast and this gets interesting on a local level. Battle lines are beginning to be drawn and it will be very interesting to watch this play out. More in our Advisory Triple and Quad Play: Who Will Win the Bundled Service Battle?