AT&T Completes a True Triple Play
For the first time, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will begin selling residential voice-over-IP (VOIP) services over its U-verse network. The company launched its new U-verse Voice service in Detroit today, the first city where the VOIP service will be available. (See AT&T Unveils Service.)
Combined with the already existing U-verse TV and U-verse Internet services, U-verse voice will finally complete AT&T's triple-play package so that all three services are IP-based on the U-verse network.
Previously most triple-play packages that AT&T sold consisted of a legacy PSTN voice connection or its voice-over-broadband CallVantage service. AT&T says it will expand the service to additional markets throughout 2008 but has not provided a timeline for its availability.
The addition of U-verse Voice will bring many interactive services to customers previously not available for its traditional voice services, such as click to call, U-verse messaging, and a locater service that rings up to four numbers at the same time. (See AT&T Shows Off IPTV Tricks.)
AT&T will charge $40 per month for unlimited calling on U-verse Voice. That's a lot higher than the approximately $25 that VOIP competitor Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) charges but is on par with what cable MSOs such as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) have been charging for their very successful VOIP service plans.
The announcement comes at the beginning of a week in which many eyes will be focused on AT&T. The company will announce its financial results for the year 2007 on Thursday morning, and many investors are concerned about the company's residential services.
Two weeks ago, CEO Randall Stephenson remarked at an investor conference that AT&T has had to disconnect customers for not paying their bills and that the slowing U.S. economy has had an adverse effect on business. Those comments sent AT&T's stock and the rest of the market tumbling. (See Whoa Mama Bell!)
— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading