America Online Introduces AOL Internet Phone Service

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America Online Introduces AOL Internet Phone Service

AOL finally launches their long awaited VoIP offering...Also, check out Andy Abramson's blog. He plans to write more about AOL's offering today and he has some AOL insights from yesterday as well.

DULLES, Va. --(Business Wire)-- April 7, 2005 -- America Online, Inc. Offers Phone, E-Mail and Instant Messaging In One Enhanced Communications Service Market Rollout Begins in Select Cities Across the U.S. *T

America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today began the rollout of the AOL(R) Internet Phone Service, an enhanced Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that offers current and new AOL(R) members a valuable new choice for all of their voice, e-mail and instant messaging communications needs.

Starting today, America Online will introduce the AOL Internet Phone Service in more than 40 markets across the United States, the first phase of a nationwide rollout that will continue to additional cities over the coming months. The innovative Internet communications service will offer cost-saving pricing over traditional telephone service and an enhanced suite of integrated voice and online messaging features.

Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO, America Online, Inc., said, "The AOL Internet Phone Service will uniquely combine advanced tools, competitive pricing plans and AOL's hallmark ease of use to allow mass-market consumers to take full advantage of the revolution underway in Internet voice technology. Our enhanced suite of features will provide not only cost savings, but also the opportunity to organize, access and direct the full range of online and offline communications -- including voice, e-mail, instant messaging and phone/address book -- with one convenient service."

With this launch, America Online is offering new AOL customers a special introductory package rate of $29.99 per month for the first six months for the AOL Internet Phone Service and the AOL service. This offer includes unlimited Local and Long Distance calling within the US and Canada plus unlimited access to the AOL service over a broadband connection. At the end of six months, the price of the package will be $39.99.

For the AOL Internet Phone Service alone, current AOL members can choose from three convenient price plans with introductory offer rates:

-- Local Plan: $13.99 per month for the first three months for unlimited local and regional calls and $0.04 per minute for long distance calls anywhere in the US and Canada ($18.99 per month thereafter);

-- Unlimited Calling Plan: $24.99 per month for the first three months for one flat fee for local and long distance calls within the US and Canada ($29.99 per month thereafter); and

-- Global Calling Plan: $29.99 per month for the first three months, including unlimited local and long distance calls within the US and Canada and low international rates ($34.99 per month thereafter).

As a limited time offer in conjunction with the first phase of the rollout of the new service, America Online is giving current AOL members who sign up a free wireless home network base station.

About the AOL Internet Phone Service
The AOL Internet Phone Service transforms an existing high-speed Internet connection into an innovative voice and data service with enhanced features, giving consumers unprecedented ease, control and convenience over their day-to-day communications. By transmitting telephone calls over a high-speed Internet connection, the AOL Internet Phone service will enable users to make and receive local, long distance and international phone calls at a lower cost than traditional land line phone services.

What sets the AOL Internet Phone Service apart is its suite of convenient features - many of which are not currently available with other telephone services - including unified voice, e-mail and instant messaging, enhanced voicemail and call management capabilities, online presence awareness, and more. Current features include:

-- Standard calling features on the phone, with Call Waiting, Caller ID and Voicemail, and Quick Codes including Basic Call Forwarding (*72/*73), Send Calls to Voicemail (*78/*79), and Cancel Call Waiting (*70).

-- Innovative call management features such as the online AOL Internet Phone Service "Dashboard," a central Web page from which users can easily manage their account settings, call handling and call forwarding preferences, call logs of incoming and outgoing calls, as well as access contact lists with click-to-dial functionality and their address book.

-- America Online's feature-rich, voice services - AOL(R) Call Alert, AOLbyPhone(TM) and AOL(R) Voicemail - are all integrated at no additional charge, making it possible to manage and retrieve both voice and e-mail messages, anytime, anywhere from any touchtone phone or Internet-connected computer, and to take calls on your home phone, mobile phone and computer.

-- Integrated online presence awareness options that make it possible to indicate how, where, when and whether phone contacts can be reached via instant messages.

-- Safety and security features, including AOL's Parental Controls to help parents manage their children's use of the service and turn off call alerts to specific accounts, as well as Call Blocking.

-- Full Enhanced 911 (E-911) calling coverage in all of the markets targeted for the initial rollout of the AOL Internet Phone Service. E-911 helps deliver a user's address-specific information in the event of an emergency.

-- Compatibility with most existing home networks and capable of enabling a home network if consumers don't already have one.

Additional enhancements and upgrades will be introduced in the months to come.

The AOL Internet Phone Service is simple to get up and running in just a few steps. After registration, customers will receive a Welcome Kit that includes an easy-to-connect telephone terminal adapter/broadband router, into which they plug an ordinary touchtone telephone and their cable or digital subscriber line (DSL) modem. To place and receive calls, a user just picks up the adapter-connected telephone and dials numbers as he or she normally would.

James Tobin, Vice President, Voice Strategy for America Online, Inc., said, "AOL sees integrated voice and data features as a natural extension of our leadership in Internet communications - and the voice, e-mail and instant messaging services the company already offers. With a network of millions of connected users, industry-leading partners, and a brand name associated with trust and quality, AOL is well positioned and has the technology to offer consumers a differentiated and enhanced VoIP experience - one that's focused on ease-of-use, quality, reliability and 24-hour/7-day a week customer care."

America Online is working with world-class partners to provide the proven infrastructure required to ensure success. Level 3 Communications is providing a managed VoIP infrastructure needed to deliver a service with a broad footprint in the markets targeted, as well as Enhanced 911 (E-911) capability and Local Number Portability. Sonus Networks is providing the VoIP technology that integrates with AOL's rich feature set to change the very nature of voice calls and make them a pathway not just for conversations, but also for a wide range of next-generation interactive applications.

America Online is also working with Linksys and NETGEAR, leading networking hardware manufacturers, to offer unique devices for the AOL Internet Phone Service that combine telephone adapter and home router technologies.


The AOL Internet Phone Service is being introduced to consumers in numerous markets beginning today, including: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Colorado Springs, CO; Columbus, OH; Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Ft. Myers, FL; Hartford-New Haven, CT; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, KS; Lafayette, IN; Laredo, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Norfolk, VA; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Raleigh-Durham, NC; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA; Seattle-Tacoma, WA; St. Louis, MO; Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL; Tucson, AZ; Washington DC; and West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL.

Over the coming months, the AOL Internet Phone Service will progress to additional cities across the United States.

None of the AOL Internet Phone Service price plans requires an activation fee, and the entire suite of AOL Internet Phone Service features - including the Dashboard, AOL Call Alert, AOL Voicemail and the AOLbyPhone service - is included at no additional cost.(a)

To learn more about the AOL Internet Phone Service, visit, AOL(R) Keyword: Internet Phone Service or call 1-877-265-7732.

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