AT&T’s Voice over IP (VoIP) ( define - news - alert - tutorial)-enabled calling service keeps popping up everywhere just as we see the Simpson sisters sell everything from breath mints to pizza on TV. Today, the AT&T ( news - alert - quote) CallVantage calling service reached the shelves of your neighborhood’s Office Depot. Both companies agreed on a retail deal placing the service up for grabs in about 900 stores nationwide and online at Office Depot’s Web site.
"We're delighted to be working with Office Depot, one of the nation's largest office supply retailers," said Cathy Martine, AT&T senior vice president for Internet Telephony. "This retail agreement is an important step in expanding our distribution channel to make AT&T CallVantage Service conveniently available to as many consumers as possible."
Starting today, Office Depot’s customers can buy the CallVantage service starter kit, which bundles a Linksys wired or wireless router with an integrated analog telephone adapter. Once at home, all that the customer would need is a broadband connection, which allows them to talk over high-speed Internet connections instead of traditional circuit-switched phone networks. Customers are then required sign up for the CallVantage service at AT&T’s Web site by following instructions found inside the starter kit box.
"VoIP is changing the way people communicate and do business," said Mark Amos, Office Depot's Merchant for Wireless Communications, Telephones and Networking. "AT&T CallVantage Service is an exciting new service that will offer our customers familiar telephone features and innovative capabilities to meet their communications needs -- while, at the same time, saving them money."
The CallVantage Service allows users to place and receive calls over the Internet. Just as with land line telephone services, users get to enjoy call waiting, three-way calling, and call forwarding, as well as enhanced features including Call Logs—to track incoming and outgoing calls; Do Not Disturb—to receive calls only when wanted; Locate Me—which rings up to five phones, all at once, or sequentially; Voicemail with eFeatures—to listen to messages from any phone or PC and forward them to anyone on the Web; Simple Reach Number, which enables AT&T CallVantage Service customers to add up to nine telephone numbers with area codes anywhere in the country where AT&T offers residential VoIP service for $4.99 each; and Personal Conferencing—to set up meetings with up to nine additional callers.
AT&T CallVantage Service
|Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was
assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She
can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.