The Year of the Voice

When we say “The Year of the Voice,” you might assume that we’re referring to the popularity of NBC’s Emmy award-winning TV show where contestants and their celebrity coaches battle it out for stage supremacy and stardom. But you would be wrong. As much as I love Carson Daly and a good cover song, I’m actually talking about voice over integrated circuits.

When it comes to providing your customers with new, high-quality digital phone service with flexible options, you should look to the same cable providers that deliver high-speed internet access. Because cable voice providers like Time Warner Cable and Comcast run their service over their own private IP networks, they give a higher priority to voice packets than general data. This provides more control over the audio quality of digital phone calls. As a result, sound quality is significantly better than independent hosted providers such as Vonage, whose calls simply traverse the public internet where voice packet priority cannot be given.

A great advantage in reselling cable companies’ voice services is leveraging their brand recognition and existing assets. Some are offering triple-play services -- bundled voice, video, and data -- with a range of promotional incentives. Others are even allowing customers to use their existing phone systems. Not having to purchase new equipment can be a major selling point as it saves money and makes the switch to a new service provider simpler and more convenient.

The cable companies are targeting new growth avenues and are aggressively competing with traditional telecommunications carriers who have historically owned the business services market. Because the cable companies have a vast network over which they can sell all sorts of high-value business services, they can move on to bundling and selling even more complex services that deliver new recurring revenue streams and even greater profit margins.

For all of these reasons, we believe there is a massive opportunity to aggressively go after business services. You’ll want to consider the high-speed cable providers first when selling voice. As the market matures, the next big challenge for the cable companies will be to continue their momentum by focusing some of their efforts upstream and building new products and services for larger enterprise businesses and putting the systems in place that will allow for continued growth and prosperity.


About the Author
As Vice President at TBI, Ken Mercer oversees all sales and operations within the organization. Ken is also active in leveraging his extensive network services expertise to consult with TBI channel agents on large enterprise opportunities and serves on the advisory boards for many of TBI’s service providers. You can contact Ken at or connect with him on LinkedIn.