AT&T Delivers VoIP to Small Offices

Expanding its Voice over IP (VoIP) lineup, AT&T has begun marketing a customized version of its CallVantage service to small office/home office (SOHO) users, the company said.

The plan includes unlimited local and long-distance calling in North America, and the ability to send and receive faxes for $49.99 per month.

Subscribers can add premium features, such as choosing up to nine phone numbers with programmable calling features for $7.49 per number, per month. The additional numbers can be local to the firm or assigned area codes anywhere in the country.

Other options include directing calls based on who is calling for $1.99 per month and conference calling for up to 10 lines at a flat fee of 35 cents per minute.

Gary Morgenstern, a spokesman for the Bedminster, N.J., carrier, said the company’s residential VoIP roll out last year “helped the business side of the house.”

He went on to say that business decision-makers saw the technology was good enough to be deployed to residential users nationwide and were convinced it was ready for business use as well. Details of the company’s marketing plan for the SOHO offering are not yet set, he said.

Several service providers have VoIP offerings that could fill the need for some SOHO customers, including telecom carrier Verizon and startups Vonage and Net2Phone.

And Covad Communications has been expanding its small businesses footprint.

AT&T first announced its VoIP plans in December 2003 and started rolling out service to residential customers in late March.

In recent years, the company’s long-distance revenues have dropped sharply, as customers switched to regional telecoms and national wireless providers.

On the enterprise business side, AT&T already carries more IP traffic on its network than any other U.S. company. AT&T has been offering VoIP to business customers through virtual private network services since 1997.

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