Friday, August 21, 2009

Verizon Fios Pushing Convergence

First there was the triple play - wired phone, cable, and internet, now there is the quad play with the addition of wireless. And while it is nice to have one bill for all four products, it's even nicer when they work together. Well Verizon seems to agree. In one example, "Integrating the cellphone with TV, such as turning a BlackBerry into a remote control, is an advantage the competition can't easily replicate." Remote programming of the DVR is another. Accessing cable programming from your home onto your blackberry or other mobile device would be the ultimate convergence opportunity. "The New York telecommunications company lags AT&T Inc. (T), which has a headstart integrating its U-Verse TV service with the Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone. The two companies' TV services, however, don't compete. Verizon also unveiled a slight upgrade to its FiOS TV service, including a recommendation engine for on-demand video, targeted advertisements based on geography, portals for HBO and Showtime, and more widgets such as a football program that displays statistics alongside a game. The changes will be rolled out next month."

Convergence of all the devices seamlessly so that they all communicate effortlessly with each other seems to be the ultimate competitive game-changer. For example, place your cell phone on a device and have it automatically forward its calls to your hard wire phone. Or watch your favorite shows away from home by accessing your cable box through your PC. The ideas for convergence are endless and the providers that catch on quickly may benefit with market share.

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