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January 23, 2008

AT&T Launches New VoIP Service, U-verse Voice

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributing Editor

AT&T (News - Alert) Inc. has introduced a new digital voice product across Detroit, dubbed U-verse Voice, which is expected to help the company better compete against cable company rival Comcast (News - Alert) Corp.

Introduced Tuesday, U-verse Voice is a managed Voice over IP (VoIP) service that is delivered over AT&T's fiber-rich network, unlike many VoIP providers that offer digital phone services over the public Internet.

“The launch of AT&T U-verse Voice is the next step in our vision to bring customers a complete set of wireless and wired services that work together seamlessly for them,” Jennifer Jones, vice president and general manager for Michigan at AT&T, said in a statement.

He also pointed out that U-verse Voice uses the power of IP to enhance the calling experience. According to him, customers will be able to do more with their phone service and connect in more ways through all of their AT&T digital services.

Detroit News reports that AT&T’s new voice component isn’t meant to overlap with its wire line voice service, but to complement the company’s U-verse packages, which combine digital television and high-speed Internet services delivered over a new fiber optic network being rolled out in 13 states, including Michigan.

AT&T through U-verse Voice offers its users combined AT&T U-verse Voice and wireless voice mail with U-verse Messaging, which provides a single voice mailbox that can be accessed from any phone line or PC.

The other features are an online management portal that gives users the option to manage their call preferences, voice mail, contacts, and call history from any PC, in addition to the ability to access voice mail and control call preferences from their home phone.

Jones explained that U-verse Voice also provides online voice mailbox so customers can listen to, manage and forward voice mail from the online portal, much like an e-mail inbox.

Detroit News reports that AT&T's U-verse Voice pricing is in line with packages from competitor Comcast; both companies now offer a promotional television, phone and Internet package that starts at $99 per month.

“U-verse Voice will help AT&T compete with rivals and capture greater market share,” Jeff Kagan, a Marietta, a telecommunications industry analyst at, but the competition will remain fierce, told Detroit News.

“I see it becoming more and more popular, and their pricing is going to get extremely aggressive,” Kagan said. “They're out to have customers getting everything -- TV, phone and Internet -- from one place. This is the next step toward that.”


Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

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