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David Sims - TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist[February 21, 2005]

Conference Primer: Triple Play

By David Sims, TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

At the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo 2005 Miami, one of the topics covered is “Triple Play.”

What Is It? “In simple terms,” explains the Pulse Online January 2004 issue, “it’s the convergence and bundling of video, in both traditional analog and digital formats, voice – including plain old telephone service (POTS) and perhaps Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and high-speed data transfer.”

So? "Triple play is not just a clever method of bundling services to gain an incremental increase in revenues – it is a fortress to build around customers to keep them from fleeing to competitors," writes Scott Clavenna in Light Reading.

What’s the Short of It? T he largest local providers in the U.S. are only just now starting to realize the business benefits of a long-term investment in broadband. They’re now likely to focus on more revenue per broadband customer, through the bundling of new services such as video and VoIP. Telcos are looking to roll out triple play quickly, and over a variety of infrastructures, both fiber and copper. To deliver triple-play services now, telcos must make use of their existing copper networks using advanced digital subscriber line (DSL) technologies.

The Buzzwords? . As Light Reading’s research shows:

  • VoIP. The most important new service cited by service providers, followed by the triple-play combination of voice, data, and video.
  • ARPU burgeoning. Many service providers have found they can more than double the average revenue per user (ARPU) of an existing telco customer -- from approximately $90 per subscriber (for local, long distance, and broadband Internet) to nearly $200 -- by adding a suite of basic and premium video services.
  • Video-on-steroids. Service providers see video evolving into a broad range of services including video-on-demand, HDTV, and network-based personal video recorders (PVRs).
  • Cheap boxes. Residential gateways are getting cheap and will thus make deployment to consumers much more cost effective for service providers.
  • Content is king. A new breed of content developers and brokers is emerging to supply broadband-based content, including video, giving telcos access to competitive content options.

And I Care Because… Triple play services are the new market imperative for service providers. Integrating voice, video and data services on a single broadband connection – and on a single bill – for millions of subscribers requires extensive planning and significant upgrades across the network. As Light Reading writes, “ Traditional telcos are gearing up for the battle of the century, and triple-play service over DSL is the main weapon of choice.”

Who Should I See? Dale Allaire, Director of Marketing, Pannaway Technologies, Inc.and Jeff Dworkin, Vice President, Products, Endavo Media & Communications have you covered for triple play.

David Sims is contributing editor and CRM Alert columnist for TMCnet.

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