Telecom Service Name Game

11:30 AM -- Naming and branding a new service in the telecom space is not easy, and it's clear that phone companies never want to err on the side of sounding too generic. Witness some of the newest services on the market now:

U-verse is the brand SBC uses to describe a suite of IP-based consumer products and services. It sounds like a service librarians would use to reference quotations, but it's not.

Verizon FiOS (FYE-ose) is the name of the suite of fiber optic services that is provided over Verizon's FTTP network. It sounds like a prescription drug, but it's not. ("My doctor said I should try 'FiOS.' And I should eat more fiber.")

There's also the iobi (eye-OH-bee) service, also from Verizon, which is neither a Star Wars character nor a foreign car type. Instead, it's a service that pulls all of a consumer's communication services together and makes them available/accessible on any device.

And every time I hear the name OneFlex to describe Qwest's Hosted VOIP services, I think someone's trying to sell me some home gym equipment. If I use OneFlex to save on long-distance charges, will I also lose my love handles?

One of my favorite service names is Lotsa Talk, a trademark once held by BellSouth to describe a long-distance calling plan. It's simple. It's straightforward. It works. But, of course, I'm not sure it was used commercially.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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