TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: AOL: You've got VoIP

AOL: You've got VoIP

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld)
Fri, 25 Feb 2005 11:35:51 -0500

By Jim Hu, CNET

America Online is expected to launch an Internet phone service in the
United States next month, leapfrogging rivals in a fast-growing market
as it seeks to evolve from an also-ran provider of dial-up Internet
access to a broadband services powerhouse.

Like Yahoo and Microsoft, AOL already offers voice chat on PCs as a
free feature of its instant messaging services. AOL's new phone
service, by contrast, will take a different path, charging customers a
monthly fee to make calls over the Internet using an ordinary handset
and a small analog-to-digital telephone adapter.

AOL has been testing a U.S.-based phone service with volunteers since
last summer, and it launched a similar service in Canada in
December. The online giant plans to introduce its VoIP, or voice over
Internet Protocol, product to U.S. subscribers in mid-March and then
offer it to nonmembers later this year, according to sources familiar
with the plan.

Sources said the cost of AOL's service will be competitive with other
VoIP offerings in the market, where one low-cost provider, Vonage,
charges $24.99 a month for unlimited local and long-distance
calling. The AOL service will cost less than the $40 Internet phone
service offered by corporate cousin Time Warner Cable, the sources

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