TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: SBC Plans to Roll Out Internet Phone Service in 2005

SBC Plans to Roll Out Internet Phone Service in 2005

Lisa Minter (
Wed, 17 Nov 2004 12:17:39 -0500,1,4327377.story?coll=chi-business-hed

By Rob Kaiser, [Chicago] Tribune staff reporter. Bloomberg News
contributed to this report

Responding to competitive threats to its core business, SBC
Communications Inc. said Tuesday it will begin offering Internet-based
phone service early next year.

The service, which would only be available to the company's DSL
customers, comes as rival carriers Verizon, AT&T and newcomers like
Vonage roll out similar services known as VoIP, for voice over
Internet protocol.

"We understand that IP is the future," SBC Chief Executive Edward
Whitacre said Tuesday at an industry conference in New York.

By offering Internet phone service, SBC hopes to keep competitors from
poaching its customers with lower prices and new features such as the
ability to block calls, receive voice mails as e-mails and set call
forwarding instructions from any Web connection.

SBC said Tuesday it will offer the service in the 13 states it serves,
including Illinois.

The company, which already offers Internet phone service to
businesses, is running trials for residential service in Chicago, Los
Angeles, Dallas and San Antonio. It did not disclose how much its
service will cost, although rivals charge between $20 and $40 a month
for unlimited local and long-distance calls.

[Comment: SBC is still thinking like a big phone company. Why only
offer the service to their own DSL customers? That's just giving
business away to other companies that have more ubiquitous coverage.]

Full story at:,1,4327377.story?coll=chi-business-hed

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