The increasing convergence between television and phone services has been made more apparent this week, with Shaw and Telus picking out new methods to grab each others customers in the province of British Columbia.
Shaw has started its own digital phone VoIP service, which provides unlimited local and cross country calling at a price of $55. Telus customer service Although somewhat expensive for a VoIP offering, Shaw uses their existing brand to inspire trust, and targets customers who spend a bundle on cross country calls.
Shaw has recruited 90,000 digital phone customers across Canada, and has announced that they are expanding in to the huge market of Vancouver, BC. Merrill Lynch estimates that the service will steal 150,000 customer from Telus over another year.
Telus, meanwhile, is wanting to pull of the same trick against Shaw Cable, by launching a satellite television service in Edmonton and Calgary late last year. They plan to launch the same offering for Vancouver and the Fraser Valley by the summer.
Ultimately, both companies will end up in direct competition with each other over the exact same market. Most customers will end up choosing one or another as their exclusive provider, in order to cut costs by bundling services.
At this time it’s difficult to share with whether this trend of market convergence may cause one company to become dominant over another, or if it will simply cause a gradual reshuffling of subscribers. If the later happens, customers will probably take advantage of the increased level of preference and prospect of pricing competition.