January 6, 2005 12:55 PM PST

Staples offers AT&T Net phone starter kit

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AT&T on Thursday said that office supply store Staples is now selling a kit that helps customers get started with the carrier's Net phone service, CallVantage.

The AT&T CallVantage Service Starter Kit is essentially a Linksys wireless router with a built-in adapter for letting users hook up phones to high-speed Internet connections; it also includes instructions on how to sign up for the CallVantage service. Staples is selling the kit in all of its 1,200 stores and on Staples.com, AT&T said.

CallVantage, like other Net phone service packages, routes calls over the Internet, rather than the traditional telephone network, which is heavily taxed and regulated. Because Internet calls are not taxed, Net phone plans tend to be cheaper, though there are downsides, such as spotty voice quality and the service's reliance on electricity.

Still, such plans, also called VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) services, are gaining acceptance because they can offer features such as call waiting, three-way calling and call forwarding at cheaper rates.

Additional features of CallVantage include call logs, for keeping track of incoming and outgoing calls; Locate Me, a feature for ringing up to five phones, all at once or sequentially; and Do Not Disturb, for receiving calls only when they're wanted. CallVantage also offers features that allow consumers to listen to messages from a phone or PC and then forward the calls to anyone on the Web.

AT&T is currently engaged in a price war with rival Vonage, with each trying to woo more consumers through innovative marketing strategies.

The starter kit is priced at $129.94, and a rebate of $59.99 is available with activation of the CallVantage service, said Gary Morgenstern, an AT&T spokesman.


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The current rates are on the CallVantage site.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://CallVantage.ATT.com/" target="_newWindow">http://CallVantage.ATT.com/</a> has the latest rates.

Currently $29.95 flat rate for calls to all of US and Canada. $19.95 for local flat rate. You can have 1 or 2 seperate lines and piggyback multiple numbers from multiple areas onto each line. There are lots of other features include "record and send" where you can pre-record a message to send to multiple phone numbers at a preset time. Check out the CallVantage website for more specific information.
Posted by (2 comments )
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multiple phone numbers
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/chrysler_voyager_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/chrysler_voyager_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
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Cheaper options available such as Broadvox Direct.com for 19.99
They offer a free virtual number which costs you more with other companies like vonage and ATT. Unlimited calls to Canada and US for 19.99.
And it works like a charm.. am using it now!
There are other optiosn besides Vonage(24.99) such as Lingo, Broadvoice and Packet8. Lots and lots of features available in all of them
Posted by lavacentral (61 comments )
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