AT&T CallVantage E911

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
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AT&T CallVantage E911

I received this release today and was a bit surprised as AT&T has been super-quiet regarding their CallVantage service since their announcement of of the SBX acquistion. While Vonage has been investing in customer acquisition with million dollar marketing budgets, AT&T has really slowed the marketing spending to a trickle. I can’t recall the last promotion I saw for the service so using the word trickle actually givs the company the benefit of the doubt.

Many in the industry were quietly predicting the demise of the service altogether. I take this announcement as a sign that AT&T is still committed to providing VoIP. Of course implementing E911 is easier for AT&T than for many smaller companies because of their heritage and relationships in the industry.

What is confusing to me is that if the company is going to keep CallVantage going, why aren’t they marketing more aggressively? A while back it was a two horse race between Vonage and AT&T. Vonage is the clear winner now and AT&T is so far behind that it will take immense spending to catch up. The field is wide open for a strong number two VoIP provider. Who will it be. I wonder.

AT&T Aggressively Rolling Out VoIP E-9-1-1 Service

BEDMINSTER, N.J. – AT&T announced today that it has begun introducing Enhanced 9-1-1 service (E-911) to its AT&T CallVantage® Service users in a phased deployment to be largely completed later this Summer.

E-911 service delivers a caller’s name, telephone number and service address directly to the console of the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in the event of an emergency.

“AT&T is proud to be making good on its commitment to deliver an E-911 solution to our AT&T CallVantage subscribers,” said Cathy Martine, AT&T senior vice president for Internet Telephony. “It has long been AT&T’s heritage to serve the nation’s public safety needs and the introduction of E-911 for many of our VoIP users is the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

AT&T began provisioning eligible new AT&T CallVantage Service subscribers with E-911 capabilities on a phased, market-by-market approach this past April. That means in the service areas where the company has installed and tested the infrastructure required to support E-911, eligible new subscribers are automatically receiving the enhanced service when activating their accounts.

Existing AT&T CallVantage Service users in those same markets whose accounts are eligible will be provisioned with E-911 service automatically by mid-summer. To date, the company has migrated tens of thousands of lines successfully across the nation.

When the migration is complete, customers will receive notification from the company confirming they have been provisioned with E-911.

Exceptions would be those subscribers who have selected “out-of-area” telephone numbers as their primary VoIP lines. For example, if a New Jersey resident chose a telephone number in another part of the state, or in another state, he or she would not qualify for E-911 service and would remain on AT&T’s 911 Alternative Emergency Dialing service until the company is prepared to implement an “out-of-area” E-911 solution.

AT&T is working with industry members, commercial partners and public safety officials to rapidly expand these emergency dialing capabilities in an attempt to provision all AT&T CallVantage subscribers with E-911 access as quickly as possible.

In a similar manner, customers who travel with their telephone adapters are cautioned to maintain an alternate means of accessing emergency services. While AT&T enables customers to update their service address, in such instances customers may be better served by using a hotel or other local phone to place an emergency call until real-time updates are made possible.

AT&T CallVantage Service subscribers can determine their account status by logging on to their personal Web portal and visiting the Account Management & Settings page where they can review the emergency service type they are currently subscribed to. All users are urged to proactively check their 911 status online, read their 911 notification letters and not to place test calls to 911 as this creates an unnecessary burden on the nation’s emergency calling system.

In the interest of public safety, AT&T reminds customers that VoIP E-911 does not work if there is an outage in electrical power or broadband service.

Introduced in late March 2004, AT&T CallVantage works with a customer's broadband connection to provide a complete calling solution with unlimited local and long-distance domestic calling, including calls to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, unlimited calling to Canada, discount rates for international calling, and a suite of advanced features for $29.99 a month.

Under its AT&T CallVantage Local Plan, customers receive unlimited local calling and access to the entire AT&T CallVantage Service advanced feature set for $19.99 per month. All local toll and long distance calling and feature use in the U.S. and to Canada will be billed at $0.04 a minute.

To learn more about AT&T CallVantage Service, consumers can visit or visit one of its valued retailers.

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