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Johanne Torres[July 22, 2004]

Verizon Joins the Bells� Race to VoIP

BY: JOHANNE TORRES


Another telecom giant has stepped up to the plate and just announced it has plans to launch a Voice over IP (VoIP) (define - news - alert)  service offering. In efforts to join the high ranks of ma Bell AT&T (news - alert - quote), Verizon (news - alert - quote) is now planning to venture into the race of the legacy telephone service providers getting into the VoIP space. Starting this week, Verizon DSL customers would be offered the opportunity to add on the new service. Verizon VoiceWing seems to be one of the key offerings for 2004 yet released by one of the biggest telecoms in the country.

The company is to target their current residential DSL customers, as well as users of DSL services provided by other carriers, creating a �bring your own broadband� (BYOB) ambiance. Like other services, VoiceWing lets customers choose their area code, regardless of state residence, and in most cases, even tag along their existing telephone numbers. VoiceWing will be accessible from any broadband Web connection. There is no obligation to get a broadband connection from Verizon in order to take advantage of VoiceWing. Customers using other carrier�s DSL or Cable can add on the new service. 

VoiceWing telephone numbers are currently available with a variety of area codes from the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and in the District of Columbia.

The Verizon VoiceWing package offers Verizon�s most popular telephone calling features:

The damage: $29.95 monthly for customers that sign up before Halloween, $34.95 a month for the first six months, and $39.95 monthly thereafter. The service bundles unlimited local and long distance calling, a telephone adapter (there is a one-time set-up fee of $39.95, and a one-time shipping and handling charge for shipping the adapter), calling feature package, a personal account manager, area code choice, enhanced calling features, along with Verizon�s own 30-day money back guarantee.

VoiceWing is priced slightly higher than AT&T�s CallVantage. CallVantage is offering their services at $19.99 monthly for the first six months, and $34.95 a month thereafter. Head-on VoIP provider Vonage (news- alert), however, would lead economically, at only $29.99 monthly.

Johanne Torres is the Assistant Editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the Assistant Editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

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