Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Comcast Targets 1 Million New VoIP Subscribers in 2006

Comcast is expecting to significantly accelerate its VoIP rollout, hoping to add 1 million new customers by the end of the year. Comcast added 202,000 Comcast Digital Voice (CDV) customers in 2005, reflecting the rollout of the service to 25 new markets including Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Atlanta. At year-end 2005, CDV was being marketed to 16 million homes. Meanwhile, the decline continues in the number of circuit-switched telephone customers it serves, as Comcast transitions to VoIP. As a result, Comcast Cable reported 98,000 net new phone customers in 2005 compared to a loss of 43,000 in 2004.

Comcast's phone revenue remained relatively unchanged in 2005 from the prior year at $687 million.

Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation said, "We have also made great strides in building the foundation that will significantly accelerate our Comcast Digital Voice business in 2006. This in turn will allow us to fully market a bundled offering of voice, video and high-speed Internet products. In 2006 we expect to add at least 3.5 million new revenue generating units, a 35% increase over 2005, including 1 million new Comcast Digital Voice customers."

Some additional highlights from the comopany's quarterly report:

  • REVENUE: For the year ended December 31, 2005, Comcast Cable reported revenue of $21.2 billion, a 9.5% increase from the same period in 2004. Video revenue increased 5.7% during the year, driven by higher monthly revenue per basic subscriber and a 1.1 million or 13.1% increase in the number of digital customers, the highest rate of digital subscriber additions in 3 years. For Q$, Comcast Cable reported revenue of $5.4 billion, representing an 8.4% increase from the fourth quarter of 2004.

  • DIGITAL CABLE: ended the year with 9.8 million digital cable subscribers and digital cable penetration reached 45.6% of basic subscribers. Basic subscribers declined 0.5% to 21.4 million at December 31, 2005.

  • VOD: During 2005, Comcast Digital customers watched 1.4 billion programs on demand; reaching 30 programs a month in December with an average viewing time of almost 30 minutes. Pay-per-view revenues increased 16.4% from 2004 driven by movie and event purchases through the Comcast ON DEMAND service, representing the second consecutive year of pay-per-view revenue growth of more than 15%.

  • SET-TOP BOXES: During the year, Comcast Cable deployed 1.5 million advanced set-top boxes with DVR and/or HDTV programming capability. At December 31, 2005, 25.2% of digital customers have one or more advanced set-top boxes compared to 13.1% at the end of 2004.

  • HSD: Comcast High-Speed Internet service revenues increased 27.6% to $4.0 billion in 2005, reflecting a 1.5 million or 21.8% increase in subscribers with stable average monthly revenue per subscriber of $42.82. Comcast Cable ended 2005 with more than 8.5 million high-speed Internet subscribers or 20.7% of available homes. The company added 378,000 HSD customers in Q4.

  • RGUs:During 2005, Comcast Cable added a total of 2.6 million new revenue generating units. Revenue generating units (RGU) include the sum of analog and digital cable subscribers, high-speed Internet subscribers and phone customers. As of December 31, 2005, Comcast reported 41 million revenue generating units, a 6.9% increase from 2004. In addition, Comcast had more than 2.7 million advanced set-top boxes with DVR and/or HDTV programming capability in digital customers' homes, driving growth in video revenue per subscriber.

  • CAPEX: Cable capital expenditures in 2005 remained relatively unchanged at $3.6 billion when compared to one year ago. Expenditures for 2005 reflect increased purchases of digital set-top boxes to meet strong demand for HDTV and DVR digital services, costs associated with readiness and deployment of CDV and the impact of hurricane-related reconstruction costs, offset by declines in plant upgrade spending.

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