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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 27, 2010

IBBS To Acquire Single Pipe, Boost Cable-Provided VoIP to Businesses, Residents

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor

Cable has emerged as a top competitor to landline telcos in residential markets for they, unlike satellite and wireless firms (at present) offer low-cost high-bandwidth high-quality integrated voice i.e. VoIP and data communications via convenient bundles. The cable firms are now taking this value proposition to businesses, many of whom are already VoIP-aware. Doing so also diversifies their customer base, insulating them from churn with price-fickle consumers some of whom may be tempted to go with dishes or telco-provided IPTV for their entertainment.

Seeing where the cable companies are going, Integrated Broadband Services (IBBS), which provides managed communications services for cable companies, is acquiring SinglePipe, which supplies VoIP solutions for cable. Combined under the IBBS (News - Alert) brand, the company will offer fully integrated voice and data solutions for cable companies that seek to expand their residential and commercial service offerings. This deal is expected to close within the next thirty days; terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

With the acquisition, IBBS will deliver a fully integrated platform combining back office systems and technical support services with voice and data services. Supported by the proprietary Broadband Explorer (News - Alert) (BBX) operational support system, IBBS will offer a single, reliable platform from which cable providers can launch and manage their services. IBBS will back its services with its advanced Network Operations Center (NOC (News - Alert)), which is in operation 24/7/365 and 140-person U.S.-based Technical Support Center.

The IBBS/SinglePipe deal will satisfy cable operators’ demands on multiple fronts say the firms.

They will realize a host of benefits from the combined entity including:

*Integrated voice + data capabilities drive increased revenue opportunities

IBBS customers that currently benefit from the existing IBBS portfolio for residential customers can now add or enhance voice offerings to take advantage of growth opportunities, especially in the commercial services sector. The combined entity extends IBBS’ offerings and expertise in the Commercial market. Providers can easily roll out and manage advanced telephony and data services with hosted applications geared specifically for business customers.

According to IBBS’ 2010 annual customer survey, finding new revenue streams and creating additional service opportunities ranked as top priorities. Nearly 70 percent of customers polled seek new services and support to penetrate business markets. Meanwhile 40 percent of customers stated that tapping new revenue opportunities is a strategic priority, with commercial services and VoIP identified as top drivers for growth.

*Deep technical expertise and cable knowledge create outstanding end-user experience

Integrated expertise in data, voice, network, and operations provides a comprehensive approach that result in an outstanding end-user experience. By managing the voice network, IBBS has visibility into root causes of both voice and data events and can more quickly and effectively resolve issues. Additionally, integrated provisioning systems simplify the process, eliminate multiple data entry points, and improve accuracy and timeliness.

*Ongoing investment in solutions for continued growth

IBBS’ solutions are designed to help cable operators maximize ARPU (average revenue per user) and generate superior margins. IBBS brings, it says, significant financial resources to ensure that cable operators and their customers benefit from the latest advances supporting improved services levels, capabilities, features, and functionality – now, and in the future.

“We have heard our customers loud and clear,” said Dave Keil (News - Alert), CEO of IBBS. “They seek a single source of expertise to launch new services and accelerate bottom-line growth with a proven company they can trust. Our acquisition of SinglePipe (News - Alert) and the addition of voice services to our portfolio will enhance our ability to support operators as they deploy voice and commercial services – two of the fastest growing opportunities in cable,” “With the addition of a superior voice service, we are even better equipped to develop innovative solutions and to support operators in their quests to be market leaders.”

“SinglePipe and IBBS have collaborated during the last two years to serve our common customers with individual expertise in voice and data,” said Jeff Carr, CEO of SinglePipe. “Now, with the combination of our companies, customers will be well-served with united capabilities and an innovative approach.”

The deal has already garnered support in the industry.

“Today, we rely on IBBS for data provisioning, network operations, and customer care,” said John Whetzell, CEO of Northland Communications Corporation. “We also contract SinglePipe to support Northland phone services in the Southeast and parts of the West. The consolidation of these companies provides a combined source for data and voice and gives us confidence that we are even better positioned to provide an excellent telephone and Internet service to our customers.”

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda