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Johanne Torres[September 14, 2004]

Optimum Voice Goes International

BY JOHANNE TORRES


In order to stave off competition from established telcos, cable companies are starting to enhance their digital and voice-over-cable calling plan offerings, making it easy for customers to switch over and place local and international calls for less. And Cablevision is no exception. The company claims that its plan will offer customers better savings than most long distance direct-calling services offered by other telecoms.


Cablevision Systems Corporation (newsalert - quote) just announced it added direct-dial international calling for its more than 115,000 Optimum Voice digital voice-over-cable customers, offering services at a lower rate by at least 25 percent. Optimum Voice customers will now be able to also use a new remote access feature allowing them to access their account and make international calls from any phone in the U.S., Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Direct-dial international calling at discounted rates lives up to the Optimum Voice promise to deliver the best value in voice across the New York metropolitan area,” said Patricia Gottesman, Cablevision’s senior vice president of consumer product management and marketing. “The enormous success and popularity of Optimum Voice is clear indication that we are meeting the diverse needs of our growing base of satisfied customers.”

The Optimum Voice service was introduced to Cablevision customers towards the end of 2003. Since then, Optimum Voice has grown to offer new features like the one just launched—international calling, enhanced voicemail through a Web portal, 411directory assistance, settings management, call forwarding and Web-accessible detailed calling history.

Since it is a separate enhancement, Optimum Voice customers will be able to activate the international calling feature by visiting Optimum Voice online. Customers will be required to register using either a credit or debit card with a minimum initial payment of $10, activating the pre-paid-like service. Customers can then visit the site to purchase additional minutes, to activate an “auto-recharge” option that can automatically recharge the account when the balance falls below $5, or to view their international calling detail and billing status.

To use the new remote access feature from any phone within the U.S., Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, customers just have to dial a toll-free access number and entering their ten-digit telephone number and security code. The usage is automatically billed to their Optimum Voice international calling balance. This feature also allows customers to register up to five telephone numbers for remote calling privileges without having to enter their 10-digit phone number and security code.

Optimum Voice is available exclusively to Optimum Online customers and the calls are carried over Cablevision’s network.

Optimum Voice

www.optimumvoice.com

Johanne Torres is the contributing 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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