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Johanne Torres[November 1, 2004]

Former MCI Execs Launch VoIP Calling Co.


Paul Erickson and Joyce Dorris, former MCI executives, said to be responsible for MCI’s 1-800-COLLECT and The Neighborhood Built by MCI, announced they have set up a new VoIP-enabled call service company called SunRocket with the aid of Nokia Venture Partners, which provided the startup's first round of financing.

The two execs are setting up shop in Vienna, VA. SunRocket will be launching SunRocket Signature Services -- a new residential primary-line phone service priced at $24.95 monthly, with no activation charges, no contracts, term-commitments, activation fees, shipping charges, equipment charges or cancellation fees. The service is currently available in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Boston. The company plans to roll out the service in more cities nationwide by the end of the year.

“We are the first phone company that gives consumers what they want -- an easy-to-try, simple-to-use, feature-rich phone service at a superior value for a fixed monthly fee that eliminates the surprises we call ‘gotchas’,” said Paul Erickson, chief executive officer of SunRocket. “We recognize the mounting frustration that consumers have with escalating fees, add-on surcharges and taxes that turn an advertised $49.99 price into a $65 monthly phone bill. With SunRocket’s Bottom-Line Pricing, members get everything they need for one low monthly price which includes taxes.”

SunRocket will provide customers with all necessary equipment (meaning adapters, connectors, etc.) at no additional charge for members who sign up for SunRocket Signature Service. Members receive a free self-install kit containing a plug-and-play device that connects to the customer’s high-speed modem and sends phone calls over the home broadband connection. Membership includes a no-risk, 31-day money back guarantee.

SunRocket Signature Service includes features such as unlimited domestic phone calling and over a dozen free calling features such as enhanced voicemail, caller ID with name, call waiting, 3-way calling, smart call forwarding and:

  • Choice of phone numbers. SunRocket members get to choose their phone numbers from a pool of available numbers or transfer an existing number from their old phone company.
  • Free International Calls. Every SunRocket Signature Service member receives an allowance for free calls to any international destination, which translates to 100 minutes to any of 13 countries or 30 minutes or more to any of 75 countries. Incremental minutes are priced at International rates, such as 3 cents per minute to Hong Kong, London, Paris, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Tokyo or Toronto, 4 cents per minute to Mexico City, and 5 cents per minute to Beijing, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Jakarta, Seoul or Taipei.
  • Free Directory Assistance Calls. Members get two free nationwide 411 calls each month.
  • Free Signature Numbers -- two phone numbers for the price of one. In addition to a regular household phone number, members can choose an extra Signature Number to give to another member of the household, complete with its own distinctive ring, calling features and personal voicemail.
  • Enhanced 911. Routing users’ calls directly to emergency operators along with service location address information and automatic phone number identification.


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 [email protected]


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