Comcast Set To Launch 'HomePoint'
Integrated VoIP, router and handset
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.
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
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).
James Creek, PA
Re: not another phone... why would I not want a land line? Cell phone voice quality is pure crap compared to a hard line
| |NY TelPremium
Re: Just like Verizon HUB?
said by gspira :And that's why it failed....
Except that the Verizon hub cost a small fortune.