TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: SBC Communications Announces Launch of Residential VoIP Service

SBC Communications Announces Launch of Residential VoIP Service

Lisa Minter (
Tue, 16 Nov 2004 11:11:03 -0500

SBC Communications Announces Launch of Residential VoIP Service;
Another Step Forward in the SBC IP Transformation; Full-Scale VoIP
Service Rollout Planned for Early 2005

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 16, 2004---SBC Communications
Inc. (NYSE:SBC) today announced the launch of a residential Voice over
IP (VoIP) service that will significantly expand the SBC IP service
portfolio and give DSL customers a powerful new option for
communicating with friends and families.

The full-scale VoIP service rollout will take place in early 2005. It
is preceded by a trial, now under way, in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago
and San Antonio. The service will use IP technology and a DSL Internet
connection to deliver not only voice calling but also other enhanced
features, such as a Web-based portal and advanced call- management
capabilities that make it easier for customers to manage their

"When we fully launch our service early next year, consumers will be
able to choose between traditional and traditional plus next-
generation voice services from SBC companies," said Randall
Stephenson, SBC chief operating officer. "Over time, we expect that
VoIP will be a preferred voice service because of the features and
benefits this technology enables.

"Our VoIP services continue to evolve, as we introduce innovative
features that take full advantage of the power of IP technology," he
said. "Residential VoIP is an important emerging technology, and with
our industry-leading base of DSL customers and our ability to
integrate wireline and wireless communications services in new ways,
we're committed to playing a leading role in this growth market --
just as we have in the business VoIP market."

The SBC VoIP service will have a Web portal with features such as
"find me" and enhanced "do not disturb," giving customers the ability
to specify which numbers can ring through, as well as a click-to-call
capability that lets customers call friends and family with a click of
a mouse The service will also have popular calling features, such as
voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID and three-way

VoIP technology uses high-speed connections to make voice calls to
anyone over the Internet or IP networks rather than over the
traditional circuit-switched phone network. Customers must have
broadband in order to use VoIP service.

"By adding VoIP to our extensive consumer product lineup, we gain more
flexibility to create an array of innovative and integrated service
bundles," said Stephenson. "With a portfolio that includes wireless,
broadband, video, Wi-Fi, VoIP, and traditional local and long distance
services, customers can get the complete range of integrated
communications and entertainment services from SBC companies."

Building on a History of IP Leadership

The SBC VoIP service is the latest milestone in the company's
emergence as a leader in IP communications and in its strategy to
create a host of new features and offerings that will seamlessly
integrate communications devices and networks for its customers.

In October, SBC companies announced the acceleration of an initiative
-- Project Lightspeed -- to build a fiber optic-based network that will
use IP technology to deliver digital TV, VoIP and super high- speed
broadband services to 18 million customers in two to three years.

In September, SBC companies, which have provided IP services for
businesses since 1998, won contracts for several large-business VoIP
deployments, including a deal to create and manage a VoIP network for
50,000 Ford employees located in 110 different facilities.

Also in September, SBC companies launched SBC Unified
Communications. This new messaging service uses IP technology to
create a single electronic mailbox for multiple types of messages,
including e-mail, wireless voice mail, landline voice mail and even
faxes. The innovative service works over either a DSL or dial-up
Internet connection. Customers access the mailbox from any compatible
PC or PDA with Internet access or any touchtone landline or wireless
phone. The service uses text-to-speech technology to read e-mail
and/or fax headers over the phone.

Regulatory Rulings Help Spur Consumer VoIP Offer

Recent decisions by the Federal Communications Commission have
encouraged companies like SBC companies to invest in bringing the
latest IP services to customers more quickly. For example, the FCC
recently ruled that VoIP was an interstate service and that it would
keep authority over the promising new technology in order to eliminate
the possibility of a patchwork of state-by-state regulations.

"The FCC is moving to create an environment that promotes investment
and innovation in IP services," Stephenson said. "It is important that
federal, state and local authorities keep the road clear so that this
technology can reach consumers faster. The fact that we are
accelerating our investment to bring new technologies to the market
more quickly shows how good policies can deliver good results to

SBC Communications Inc. is a Fortune 50 company whose subsidiaries,
operating under the SBC brand, provide a full range of voice, data,
networking, e-business, directory publishing and advertising, and
related services to businesses, consumers and other telecommunications
providers. SBC holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular
Wireless, which serves more than 46 million wireless customers. SBC
companies provide high-speed DSL Internet access lines to more
American consumers than any other provider and are among the nation's
leading providers of Internet services. SBC companies also now offer
satellite TV service. Additional information about SBC and SBC
products and services is available at


SBC Communications Inc.
Sue McCain, 314.982.8664

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