November 26, 2004 The transformation of the telephone industry by Voice Activated Internet Protocol (VOIP) continues with Verizon's VoiceWing home broadband phone service now offering customised digital functions that were once restricted to call centres and paging services. The VoiceWing allows users to make unlimited local and domestic long-distance calls - with far greater call management functionality than available in standard lines - for a set monthly price, using their own phones, an adapter and their DSL or cable modem connections.
Imagine you're intently studying for exams and don't want the phone to ring, unless it's one of your 20 best friends. Or you're a busy telecommuter who is not sure when you'll be in your home office, on the road, or at the company headquarters - but you want your calls right away, on the most convenient phone. You may even have gotten the funniest voice mail from your sister and want to share it with your mother. This is a sample of the functionality accessible on Verizon's VoiceWing Broadband Phone Service.
The service includes an extensive roster of online call-management tools that can be controlled directly from the customer's online Personal Account Manager:
Do Not Disturb: Sends all calls straight to voice mail and only allows the important ones through. Customers can designate up to 20 such phone numbers.
Simultaneous Ring: Customers can designate up to three phone numbers where they'd like calls to ring in addition to their VoiceWing phone number. The first phone answered will be connected to the call.
Permanent Caller ID Block: Gives customers total control over who sees their Caller ID information whenever they make an outbound call. By simply setting up Caller ID Block online, all calls are anonymous until the customer disables the feature.
Forward Voice Mail (coming the week of Nov. 29): Customers can not only listen to their voice mail online by clicking on it, they can also forward it. A Click on the Forward button sends the audio message by e-mail to as many recipients as the customer would like.
"Using VoiceWing is like designing your own phone service by accessing the newest digital technology to easily create customization, flexibility and control over how, when and where you communicate." said Michelle Swittenberg, executive director for Verizon's consumer VoIP services. "We're offering customers cost savings and advanced features that don't require advanced knowledge to use."
Verizon also offers advanced features like scheduled callbacks and address book synchronisation. With scheduled callback, customers are reminded when they need to make an important call. Date and time details for the planned call are entered via the Internet and at the appointed time the user's phone will ring, connecting them to their call when they pick it up. Address book synchronisation eliminates the hassle of creating and maintaining multiple address books by synchronising the customer's VoiceWing address book with a variety of other PC and PDA address books.
The Verizon VoiceWing and VOIP broadband phone service is currently only available in Puerto Rico and certain other U.S. territories as part of its unlimited calling plan. Callers can choose from 167 area codes from 37 states, regardless of where they live. The service works over both DSL and cable modem broadband connections.
Verizon are offering Online DSL subscribers who subscribe to VoiceWing by Dec. 31 their first year of service for US$29.95 a month.
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