In a move bolstering the enhanced influence of wireless, regional carrier C Spire Wireless recently introduced a new offering targeting the waning wireline market, a move that analysts expect to continue.
Earlier this week, C Spire rolled out its Home Phone Connect offering that takes advantage of the carrier’s wireless network to offer a wired connection to consumers. The service is priced at $20 per month for unlimited calling, with the device terminal priced at $50 with a two-year contract or $160 without a contract.
C Spire claims that the offering is targeting consumers that may be uncomfortable with a mobile device and are instead looking for the convenience and familiarity of a landline offering. In showing its competitive nature, C Spire notes that the price of its service is less than half the $42 per month charged by AT&T for a comparable landline offering.
Wireless industry analyst Jeff Kagan noted that the move is part of an ongoing attempt by alternative telecom providers to infiltrate the last bastion of the old telecom model: local wireline.
“The local phone market is under attack from a variety of fronts,” Kagan explained. “Cable television companies offer a VoIP phone service. The wireless industry is winning customers away from the landline providers. So are VoIP providers. C Spire is now competing in a new slice of the pie. In this slice they don’t compete with other wireless companies. Now they are competing with wireline companies. This will require separate marketing and advertising so expect to see this. … I expect to see more of this from other wireless companies as we move forward as the industry transforms.”
Wireless/wired hybrid services being delivered to the home is not being limited to voice services. Verizon Wireless recently rolled out its HomeFusion Broadband offering that takes advantage of its LTE network to offer fixed broadband services. The offering, which has recently expanded nationwide, is designed to compete against rural, wired broadband offerings that often provide slower, DSL-like speeds. Verizon Wireless noted that HomeFusion service offers network speeds at 5 to 12 megabits per second on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.
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