Tell me more x
, there is a new speed test available. Give it a try, leave feedback!
dslreports logo
spacer
1
spacer
story category
Comcast Set To Launch 'HomePoint'
Integrated VoIP, router and handset
by Karl Bode 09:23AM Friday Oct 09 2009
Insiders at Comcast inform Broadband Reports that the cable giant is gearing up to launch a new VoIP phone handset system dubbed Homepoint. While the website for the service is already available, we've yet to see this mentioned elsewhere, and it appears the service will only be made available in limited markets. According to Comcasters, the service is centered around a wireless home router (802.11A/G, but no N) and the company's VoIP service, integrating all of their digital voice functionality via up to five handsets.

Click for full size
The device is also integrated with Comcast e-mail service, and will allow users to check e-mail, manage Comcast contacts and access visual voicemail. Users can't fully browse the web via the handset but there is limited online functionality (checking the weather, news and sports).

According to insiders, the system will only work with one phone number (for now), and doesn't integrate with home alarm systems. Broadband service is not mandatory for the service to work, though obviously some of the functionality will be restricted without it. The hardware itself (made by Thompson) comes with two Ethernet ports, one RJ-11 port, and a battery backup.

According to insiders, the service hardware will have a $5 monthly recurring charge, which replaces the $3 monthly recurring charge for the eMTA VoIP hardware. The first handset costs $39.99, as does each additional handset (up to five). While such services can appeal to users, they have a nasty tendency to duplicate functionality offered by smart phones, and if the interface and price aren't great, they have an even greater tendency to fail (see exhibit a: the Verizon Hub).

view:
topics flat nest 
bsoft

join:2004-03-28
Boulder, CO

Pretty sure I saw this

I'm pretty sure I saw this at the Comcast office in Lakewood, CO. They had a Thompson CM/eMTA with a phone handset that looked like phone on the Comcast website.

Note that this is not IP to the phone, just to the eMTA. DECT is digital, but it's not IP based. Many of the conventional cordless phones you can buy are DECT, including the one I'm using with my CDV service right now.

What this appears to be is a CM/eMTA/DECT base station combo unit. The CDV VoIP service travels over the cable to the CM/eMTA, where it is converted into a digital (but not IP-based) DECT signal to travel to the handset. Presumably you could use this system with other DECT handsets as well.

DECT isn't Wi-Fi (802.11) compatible and doesn't operate on the 2.4GHz spectrum that 802.11b/g/n does. So there's no interference with a WiFi network.

As for the data capabilities on the handset, DECT does provide some limited features there (for example, the ability to send caller ID information over from the base station to the handset), and there's even a DECT packet data standard (which never really caught on). It's unclear exactly what capabilities Comcast is using to implement this, or if the phone even uses DECT for the data services (it's possible that it's a DECT/802.11 handset, using DECT for voice and 802.11 for data).
MRCUR

join:2007-03-09
Reading, PA

Re: Pretty sure I saw this

Is it possible (I certainly have no clue) that the DECT system runs over 5GHz spectrum which would conflict with 802.11n?
bsoft

join:2004-03-28
Boulder, CO

Re: Pretty sure I saw this

DECT (in the US) doesn't use any of the ISM bands - it runs at 1.9GHz. So your 802.11a/n should be safe.

mrkevin
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
Premium
join:2007-08-07
Aurora, ME

not another phone...

It seems like every week is another gimmick to sell a new phone.
Why not a wireless VoIP phone built into your TV remote. I can never find the phone when I'm watching TV...

Make something useful.
--
An army of sheep led by a lion, will always defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
jus10

join:2009-08-04
Sterling, VA

Re: not another phone...

Ah thus solving the age old "spouse has the remote" problem.

*ring ring*
"It's your mother"
*hands over phonemote*

Amusing in my head anyway as I have neither the spouse or a landline. This day in age I don't understand why anyone (unless they live in a cellphone gully or something) still has a landline. But someone has to pay for my area's DS3 upgrade. Spend away!
neufuse

join:2006-12-06
James Creek, PA

1 recommendation

Re: not another phone...

why would I not want a land line? Cell phone voice quality is pure crap compared to a hard line

Meeks

@comcast.net
Not to mention the E-911 support for the elderly or those with small children.

klipko

join:2006-06-28
Portland, OR

.

I received two mailers last week from Comcast saying that it's available in my area but I haven't called or gone to a Comcast store to verify. For me I'm not interested the service.
beavercable
Premium
join:2008-05-11
Beaverton, OR

Trouble Call in a box.

We know all about these. One of the test markets will be good ole Oregon. For some reason we are the guinea pig for most of Comcast's cable mad science projects. The main specifics of the product is that it will be available via self install kit only (trouble call in a box). Additional handsets will be available for about $40 each.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Trouble Call in a box.

god customers need help to plug in a cable modem to power and now they want them to setup phone service.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
neufuse

join:2006-12-06
James Creek, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

ugh...

I liked it better when phone companies didn't sell you phones... this remindes me of the time when you HAD to buy a phone from AT&T... will they someday again say you have to use their phone? seems like we are going backwards... why not let phone makers make the phones and MSO's just be a dumb phone pipe....

NY Tel
Premium
join:2004-04-09
Smithtown, NY
kudos:3

Just like Verizon HUB?

This reminds me of the Verizon hub (which has officially been abandoned by them) only better.

gspira

@comcast.net

Re: Just like Verizon HUB?

Except that the Verizon hub cost a small fortune.

NY Tel
Premium
join:2004-04-09
Smithtown, NY
kudos:3

Re: Just like Verizon HUB?

said by gspira :

Except that the Verizon hub cost a small fortune.
And that's why it failed....

AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

How soon before....

....Harlodude gets 30 of these?
--
standard disclaimers apply.

Link8

join:2001-12-16
Davis, CA

Re: How soon before....

Wish it doubled as a remote, it'd save those embarrassing moments when you confuse the phone for the remote, lol.

Why can't anyone make a clamshell home phone like uniden did back in the day? I had one of those and it was awesome!
--
VGMasters my video game forum
ComcastTech

join:2008-05-31

1 edit

Re: How soon before....

If anyone needs additional info let me know.

fonzbear2000
Premium
join:2005-08-09
Saint Paul, MN

It sure would be nice if...

Customers could buy and use their own eMTA device instead of renting one for $5/month.
--
»Check this out!

DoubleL2

@comcast.net

Comcast Homepoint and Protection One alarm

For 2 years I have had the whole bundle from Comcast; Internet, Cable TV - now with Digital TV and DVR, and digital voice. The cable modem has an internal battery plus it is plugged into a UPS. Since my cable modem has an analog voice out I have 2 Uniden digital base stations, 4 cordless phones as well as 3 hardwired analog phones and my alarm system from Protection One. Protection One said that the Comcast service was sufficiently reliable that they did not require hooking up to a land line phone or adding a cell phone connection.
So it seems I should be able to use the HomePoint phone with my LinkSys N wireless router (also powered from a UPS)? This would not disturb any of the rest of the system or compromise the reliability of the system.
Comments please.