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
FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, JULY 11, 2005
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
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
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”
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
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
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
billed at $0.04 a minute.
To learn more about AT&T CallVantage Service, consumers can visit http://www.CallVantage.com or visit one of its valued retailers.