AT&T Adds Unlimited Calls to Canada to Flat Rate Plan and extends $19.99 Promotional Offering
Introduces Wiring Solution to ‘Light’ the Entire Home
BEDMINSTER, N.J., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Building on the support of its new brand advertising campaign, AT&T today continued its aggressive rollout of residential Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service, called AT&T CallVantage(SM) Service, providing consumers in 21 additional markets a high- tech alternative for their personal communications needs.
In addition, the company announced that calling to Canada will now be included as part of the unlimited nationwide service at no extra charge and that it is extending the special six-month introductory rate of $19.99 a month through September 30, 2004. The cost of service is then $34.99 a month.
AT&T also introduced an inside wiring service for residential subscribers that makes it easier for consumers to hook up multiple home phones to AT&T CallVantage Service replicating the traditional home calling environment.
"These are exciting developments for consumers as we continue an aggressive transformation of our business to an IP-based technology leader," said Cathy Martine, AT&T senior vice president for Internet Telephony. "Our size and reach allows AT&T to make AT&T CallVantage Service available from coast to coast so that consumers can more quickly reap the benefits of this exciting new technology."
The company’s latest AT&T CallVantage news comes as AT&T promotes the groundbreaking service through a series of ads that are running throughout the Olympic Games. The ads feature the AT&T inventors who developed the rich features, such as Do Not Disturb, Locate Me and Personal Conferencing, that set AT&T CallVantage apart in the market. "Through the words of its inventors, our advertising campaign is demonstrating the convenience, innovation and value that AT&T CallVantage delivers to customers," Martine said.
AT&T is expanding its service footprint in the metropolitan areas of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Greenville and Columbia, S.C.
The company today also made service available to residents of Huntsville, Ala.; Tucson, Ariz.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; August- Aiken, Ga.; Louisville, Ky.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Akron and Dayton, Ohio; Harrisburg, Pa.; Memphis, Tenn., and neighboring communities in Arkansas and Mississippi; El Paso, Texas; Norfolk, Va.; and Madison, Wis.
"Today’s market entries place us in 39 states and Washington, D.C. — that’s 121 major markets since we introduced the service in late March," said Martine. "However, because the breadth of our footprint cuts so wide, we actually offer customers the ability to maintain their existing phone numbers in some 170 overlapping markets today. This demonstrates our commitment to get IP technology into the hands of consumers just as fast as possible."
While VoIP is an exciting technology with great promise, it is not a complete substitute for traditional telephone service because it does not serve the needs of millions of Americans who cannot obtain or afford the high-speed Internet connection required for AT&T CallVantage Service. Though a growing number of households have access to these broadband connections through their cable or local telephone company, only about 25 percent subscribe nationally.
"VoIP applications might just be the catalyst that consumers are seeking to justify their investment in broadband," said Martine.
VoIP is an innovative technology that promises to change the way people communicate. A core concept of AT&T CallVantage Service, which is built on AT&T Labs patented technology, is its ability to quickly introduce new features and capabilities to the platform.
"AT&T continues to lead the adoption of VoIP services by both businesses and consumers as it delivers the next generation of communications that our customers demand." said Martine. "We’re going to use every channel possible to introduce consumers to this exciting technology."
Broad array of features
AT&T CallVantage Service is different than traditional phone services because, through the use of IP-based networks, it can offer customers typical features such as call waiting, three-way calling, and call forwarding, and far more advanced ones as well. Indeed, consumers will get unprecedented convenience and control with innovative features including:
— "Call Logs," to track incoming and outgoing;
— "Do Not Disturb," to receive calls only when wanted;
— "Locate Me," which rings up to five phones, all at once, or
— "Voicemail with eFeatures," to listen to messages from any phone or PC
and forward them to anyone on the Web; and
— "Personal Conferencing," to set up meetings with up to nine additional
All that is required for service is an easy-to-connect, plug-in telephone adapter (TA) provided by AT&T, a broadband Internet connection and regular telephone supplied by the customer. It is simple to use and easy for consumers to install-typically in 10 minutes.
AT&T CallVantage Service works with most cable modem or digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband connections. The TA is compatible with most home computer networks and may be used in conjunction with various home network routers. And the adapter can be used from almost any location where there is a telephone and a broadband connection. That gives customers the ability to stay connected by taking this service with them when they travel.
The service includes a complete calling solution that provides unlimited local and long-distance domestic calling, including unlimited calls to Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, discount rates for international calling, and a suite of advanced features that customers have never experienced before.
"We’re delighted to offer consumers even greater value by including unlimited calls to Canada as a standard part of the service and extending our popular promotional offer," said Martine. "AT&T CallVantage Service is certainly giving customers more of what they want in broadband phone service — competitive rates, advanced services and the industry’s best call quality."
As a special incentive, the company will offer AT&T CallVantage customers an opportunity to participate in its program that provides up to one month of free service (maximum of 12 months) for each referral and sale, where permissible by state law.
New inside wiring service
AT&T also introduced an inside wiring service designed to connect a customer’s existing home telephone configuration to AT&T CallVantage Service and activate extensions throughout the home. For a fee, AT&T will dispatch a trained technician to the customer’s home. The technician will reconfigure existing lines and telephone jacks, install additional jacks if required, and provide limited assistance with service set-up. The interval for scheduling service is two to five days.
"We established the benchmark for voice quality and innovative features when we launched AT&T CallVantage Service. Now we’re replicating the familiar home phone environment that everyone is comfortable with and making the service even more user-friendly," added Martine.
For "do-it-yourselfers," AT&T plans to introduce an easy-to-follow home wiring guide for VoIP service. The guide will offer customers step-by-step instructions and tips to make the most efficient use of their existing configuration for AT&T CallVantage Service.
To learn more about AT&T CallVantage Service, consumers can visit http://www.callvantage.com/ or call 1-866-816-3815, extension 70339.
For more than 125 years, AT&T (NYSE:T) has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications. Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, Internet and transaction-based voice and data services.
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