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Cablevision Rings Up HD Phone Service

Works For Optimum Voice Subs With HD-Capable Handsets

This article originally appeared in Multichannel News.

First came HD video. Now meet HD phone.

Cablevision Systems is sprucing up its Optimum Voice offering with the roll-out of an HD phone service that provides customers with improved voice quality and clarity over its standard phone offering.

Cablevision claimed that its Optimum Voice network is the first landline service to launch HD calling in the U.S. But to get the benefit of the higher quality voice service, which is being offered for no additional fee, both sides of a call must use HD-capable handsets and both must be on Optimum Voice’s HD network.

However, Cablevision noted that it will support a broader HD calling network by integrating with HD voice services that are launched by other service providers

The MSO noted that HD voice is currently offered in “select Cablevision services areas,” but will roll it out in phases across its entire footprint over the next two months.

“With HD calling, Optimum customers have access to the best available voice quality, allowing them to enjoy richer, fuller audio when on the phone,” said Kevin Packingham, Cablevision’s executive vice president of product management, the former Samsung and Sprint exec who joined the MSO in May. “Similar to the advancement from standard to high definition for television, HD calling is a remarkable innovation to our voice services, and we believe customers will be thrilled by the call quality that they will experience with this network upgrade.”

The new HD voice feature is coming into view as MSOs look for new ways to stoke growth in a category that’s showing signs of stagnation as a growing number of residential customers eschew their landline phones and go mobile-only.

Cablevision, for example, ended the first quarter of 2014 with 2.8 million voice customers, about the same it had in the year-ago period.