Comcast launches VoIP Assault

The long awaited assault by Comcast on Bell companies’ bread-and-butter phone business has begun. The first battleground is shaping up to be Atlanta, where over past month the cable and broadband giant has been firing salvos at BellSouth. The company is offering an unlimited Local and Long Distance service for $39.95 per month for triple play customers.

Clearly, the offering is much more expensive than BellSouth’s double play offering of $54.99 per month. It is still more expensive than standalone VoIP service BellSouth just launched in partnership with with 8×8 for $29.99 per month. Nevertheless, Comcast is off to a good start in Atlanta region: it is adding 1000 VoIP customers every day.

UBS estimates that there will be 4.3 million new net-adds in 2006, up a million from 3.3 million net adds in 2005. The 2005 growth spurt added to the subscriber base of cable operators and Vonage.

Comcast is looking to add at least 1 million VoIP subscriber adds during 2006. If that is the case, then UBS thinks the Bell operator most at risk is for SBC (AT&T.) Comcast offers service in roughly 30% of SBC region.

Meanwhile, Comcast announced plans to buy set-top boxes from Samsung, 200,000 initially and said that it might buy another 500,000. Motorola is their other vendor.