For Telcos, Old Fashioned Triple Play

The IPTV bet, in words of Fortune writer Stephanie Mehta is a “pipe dream” for the phone companies. She points to a survey by Accenture that says that only “4% of telecom, broadcasting and media executives think IPTV will generate significant revenue in the coming year.” That is a chilling statistic.

And it also explains the old-fashioned triple play packages the phone companies have started to push. AT&T for example is pushing a bundle of satellite TV, DSL and phone service it calls HomeZone for between $80 and $140 a month. (Good package actually if you can get the satellite dish up on your roof! Of course it is available only in San Antonio and Ohio, though more cities are two follow.)

It doesn’t have the latest or the greatest, but AT&T says more content will come from its partners like Yahoo soon. (Point to note – the new offering doesn’t have Akimbo packaged into its version of their service as yet. Akimbo functionality rolls out on Homezone in the fall software update. Akimbo, you might remember just got funding from AT&T)

BellSouth, which is in the process of being acquired by AT&T, is now offering a $99 a month voice, DSL and Direct TV package. Or you can swap the satellite TV service for Cingular Wireless. These two packages are part of a new reality for the phone companies which are losing customers to the cable providers quite rapidly. Despite the IPTV lip-service, they need to shore up the losses as quickly as possible.

Here is another reality check, also from Fortune article:

A separate Accenture survey of 6,000 consumers worldwide asked respondents if they knew what “IPTV” was. Some 4% said they thought IPTV was a reality television show.