Comcast has been busy this week with new voice services. The company has enabled unlimited free text messaging on its customers’ home phone numbers. Currently supported via web portal, iThings app, and Android app, the new service may hint at the forthcoming arrival of CAT-iq 2.0 devices and HD voice. Or not.
When cable industry have discussed advanced voice features they’d like to add to their broadband offerings, HD voice and SMS text messaging have been bundled together along with CAT-iq 2.0 handsets to support the features. Both services are delivered via SIP, with SMS text messaging needing the ability to be moved among and between cable’s all IP domain and the wireless world.
Comcast has enabled SMS text messaging via soft clients, so it isn’t a big stretch to expect the company – or Big Box retailers such as Best Buy – to offer residential/consumer IP handsets capable of supporting SMS text messaging at some point in the future.
On the other hand, CableLabs has said little about CAT-iq 2.0 handset interoperability testing since December 2010 and January 2011. Then again, CableLabs tends to be a stealthy organization to begin with, as one might judge from its operation of PeerConnect.