New York, NY–In a move reflecting increased convergence within communications markets, Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable company in the U.S., has teamed up with Sprint and MCI to add Internet phone service to its product offerings.
Other cable magnates, such as Comcast, Cox Communications and Cablevision, offer Internet phone packages using older technology, with plans to expand those services in 2004. The total number of worldwide Internet phone subscribers is less than eight million.
According to the New York Times today, Time Warner said it intended to offer telephone service by the end of next year in major markets in most of the 27 states it serves.
The newer technology utilized by Time Warner, known as voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP), transports voice, data and video over an Internet connection.
Time Warner users need only to plug telephones into modems connected to the cable wire in their homes, and keep their existing phone numbers; Internet-based calls can be received on regular phones. Though introduced eight years ago, major refinements of VOIP in the last year have allowed cable companies to push this phone service to markets more quickly.
For more information, visit www.timewarnercable.com.