AT&T and Yahoo! announce their new, integrated Internet-based voice communications services.
Starting today, the companies will offer a co-branded version of Yahoo! Messenger with Voice to AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet subscribers and all Yahoo! users in AT&T's traditional 13-state local service area. Yahoo! also today launched, out of beta, the newest version of Yahoo! Messenger with Voice (http://messenger.yahoo.com) to consumers worldwide.(1) As part of this expanded relationship, AT&T companies will be Yahoo!'s preferred network termination providers for the PC-based calling services in Yahoo! Messenger with Voice service globally.
Consumers can get enhanced PC-based calling capabilities for both making and receiving phone calls, depending on the combination of services purchased, at some of the lowest rates in the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) industry. With the Phone Out feature, consumers in the U.S. can make VoIP PC-to-Phone calls by using their PC to place calls to traditional or mobile phones to more than 180 countries.(2) Calls within the U.S. and to over 30 other countries can be made for two cents a minute or less.(3) Additionally, U.S. consumers can receive calls on their PC from traditional and mobile phones for $2.99 a month or $29.90 a year with the Phone In feature. Phone In gives people a virtual presence in their city of choice: Wherever they travel, their phone number will follow them.
"AT&T Yahoo! Messenger with Voice enhances and adds value to our broadband service," said Scott Helbing, chief marketing office, AT&T Consumer. "It also underscores our commitment to lead the industry in delivering the next generation of integrated communications and entertainment services."
"Together we can continue to create seamless experiences that bridge the traditional telecommunications and Internet worlds. We are excited to bring together Yahoo!'s Internet community and applications with AT&T's history of innovation, high-quality network, and leading voice and high speed Internet services," said Steve Boom, senior vice president, broadband, Yahoo! Inc.
Key features of the service include:
-- Phone Out: People can easily stay in touch with their friends and family in more than 180 countries across the Europe, Asia and the Americas, with low-cost calling from their PC to traditional phones and mobile phones. Calls within the U.S. and to more than 30 other countries can be made for two U.S. cents a minute or less.(3) Prepaid credit plans are available. Specific calling rates can be found at: http://voice.yahoo.com.
-- Phone In: The Phone In service gives people the ability to receive calls on their PC from traditional and mobile phones. For $2.99 a month or $29.90 a year, people can select a personal phone number, and receive incoming calls at no additional charge. For instance, New York residents, who have friends and family in London, are able to choose a local London-based phone number. When remote friends and family make calls to the personal number, they will be charged for placing a local phone call to that phone number. People can choose to have multiple phone numbers, and wherever they travel, their phone numbers will follow them. Country-based phone numbers are initially available in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States with additional country-based numbers available in the coming months.
-- Contact Search Bar: The new Contact Search Bar provides a fast way to find and quickly connect with friends and family. As people type their friends' names, Yahoo! IDs, phone numbers, nicknames or any other information stored in their contact details, matching results will automatically populate the Contact Search Bar at the top of the friends' list. Choosing how to communicate with friends, whether it is through text IM, voice calling, e-mail or mobile text messaging, becomes easier than ever.
-- Free Voicemail: People will now be able to take advantage of a free voicemail service with both their PC-to-PC inbound calls and Phone In calls within the service. If a call is missed, whether from a PC, traditional phone or mobile phone, people can easily retrieve the message at no additional cost.
AT&T Inc. and Yahoo! announced their strategic alliance in November 2001 and launched co-branded high speed Internet and Dial services less than a year later. The companies announced in late 2004 a multi-year extension of their industry-leading alliance with the intent to bring the AT&T Yahoo! customer experience beyond the PC, such as to home television and audio systems, Cingular Wireless handsets, AT&T Wi-Fi and AT&T Home Networking equipment. Today, the alliance stands as one of the most successful in the industry, based on subscriber growth and the strength of its award-winning features.