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Johanne Torres[August 20, 2004]

AT&T VoIP Plan to go Nationwide and Beyond!

BY JOHANNE TORRES


AT&T (news - alert - quote) has created quite a stir in the voice over IP (VoIP) (define - news - alert - tutorial) space. The company did not only launch their CallVantage VoIP calling plan, and then announced great expansion of their coverage area, but it has also made some very interesting partnerships with various cable companies in order to give their service a unique nationwide push. 


AT&T�s fireball-like coverage expansion bumped up to a whapping 21 new markets in seven states. The company�s aggressive marketing approach reaches far up to experts expectations of rapid growth of VoIP adoption in the states. Their residential service has been extended out to key metropolitan areas of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA; Albuquerque, NM; Las Vegas, NV; Oklahoma City, OK; and Greenville and Columbia, SC. The provider is now serving new cities like Huntsville, AL.; Tucson, AZ; Colorado Springs, CO; Daytona Beach, FL.; August-Aiken, GA; Louisville, KY; Grand Rapids, MI. Akron and Dayton, OH; Harrisburg, PA; Memphis, TN, and communities in Arkansas and Mississippi; El Paso, TX; Norfolk, VA; and Madison, WI. These additions makes CallVantage available in 39 states and Washington, D.C., pumping up the coverage list to a staggering 121 major market reach since the service was rolled out in March. 

CallVantage will now have new features and pricing deals as well. AT&T is bundling calls to Canada within the local and long-distance unlimited nationwide calling plan which also includes unlimited calls to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; along with discount rates for international calling. The company announced that their introductory monthly deal of $19.99 has been extended for an extra month; the price will be good until September 30, costing $34.99 after that. The company will also throw-in up to one month of free service (maximum of 12 months) for each residential customer referral and sale, where permissible by state law. 

Other changes in the residential service plan include an �inside� wiring service for easier multiple phone hookup and replacement of all legacy lines. Customers can pay AT&T to send a trained technician home to reconfigure existing lines and telephone jacks, install additional jacks if required, and provide limited assistance with service set-up. Customers can be in queue for up to two to five days to receive this service.

As part of their marketing efforts, AT&T is also building relationships with cable operators, in order to complete customers VoIP services. The company plans to refer calls from customers without broadband Internet service directly to the cable companies. At this point, AT&T has partnered with Comcast (news alert quote), Cox and Time Warner Cable. These providers agreed to plug-in CallVantage announcements in their transmissions.

AT&T�s CallVantage Service utilizes IP-based networks, offering residential customers legacy telephone-like features such as call waiting, three-way calling, and call forwarding, in addition to newer features including Call Logs, Do Not Disturb, Locate Me, Voicemail with eFeatures and Personal Conferencing. The service requires a plug-in telephone adapter provided by AT&T, a broadband Internet connection and regular telephone.

 

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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