So this is AT&T's big idea?
AT&T's plan to let customers make free, unlimited calls within its mobile and landline networks is getting some love from analysts, and even from usually reliable skeptics at Gigaom. This is AT&T's first big initative to capitalize on owning Cingular outright, purportedly the big raison d'etre behind AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth, its partner in the Cingular joint venture. (And indeed, AT&T (T) is in the process of "debranding" Cingular and adopting the AT&T moniker.)

Forgive me for being a little underwhelmed. Maybe I just had super high expectations for AT&T's opening salvo, but I view this as just another calling plan. It doesn't really integrate your wireless and wireline calling experiences - I'd love the telcos to give me a single mailbox for all my wireless, homephone and DSL account e-mails, or let me easily forward calls between networks - and it doesn't strike me as a huge cost savings unless your family spends all its time on the phone.

The Reuters story on the plan notes that to qualify for the new plan users must subscribe both to AT&T's $50-a-month unlimited local and long-distance plan at home or work, and an big bundle of wireless calling plan, which starts at $60 a month. I could just be dense, but if you have unlimited home calling, AND a huge number of wireless minutes, why would you ALSO need free unlimted calling among AT&T users? I suppose you might conserve some of your bundle of wireless minutes, but man, I don't use all those up at the end of the month anyway.
Posted by StephanieMehta 9:33 AM 7 Comments comment | Add a Comment

Your high expectations may have already been met... Search for a product known as AT&T Unified Messaging. The product is only available in qualified states, but would accomplish the integration of your various personal mailboxes.

http://www05.sbc.com/Products_Services/Residential/ProdInfo_1/1,,1504--13-3-0,00.html
Posted By Justin, Milwaukee, WI : 12:18 PM  

I'm with you. AT&T (Both the "real" AT&T and SBC) has a LONG history of going out of its way to a)screw consumbers and b)shoot itself in the foot.

This "free calls to landlines" initiative is far from being exciting.

Like you mentioned, if you have unlimited home calling and a large wireless plan, are you really going to use all your minutes?

The big wrench in the plan is VoIP and DSL. You can't (at least at a favorable price) AT&T DSL without a landline. And landlines are expensive.

If AT&T removed the restriction on minumum cost for home/wireless plans, allowed "dry loop" DSL with VoIP all then we might have something.

As for integration..one mailbox for email, voicemail from home phone and wireless...forget it.

AT&T email is outsourced to Yahoo. Its Cell voicemail platform and landline platform are all run on different vendors' technology....your different mailboxes won't be getting unified anytime soon

Dump your T stock.
Posted By Kapil, Chicago. : 12:24 PM  

Please go to att.com and see how AT&T Unified Communication allows you to integrate your Cell phone, Land Line and internet into 1 voice mail system. I can log on to my e-mail account and listen to my voice mail from my home number and cell phone number. With Homezone I can log on to my internet and program my TV and record my favorite program during my lunch hour. Kapil, you really should go to att.com and see the video of the new remote monitor. Go to att.com/remotemonitor and enjoy the video.
Posted By Hector, San Antonio, TX : 11:58 PM  

T-Mobile is preparing to launch "Home Zone" Which will be a VOIP service like vonage with one difference.
When you enter your "home zone" you stop using your t-mobile wireless minutes. It's a home phone, and a cell phone, in one device. Brilliant.
Posted By Derek, Saint Louis Missouri : 10:56 AM  

I think this news gives their business customers something to cheer about. The new ATT and Verizon for that matter will always have steady cash flow from the consumer side. However, on the business side of the house it is still a very competative market. By allowing Cingular customers to be 'On Network', this will be another selling point of using the new ATT for your voice, data, cellular needs. And it should save the business customers some serious money. Sprint business reps have mentioned this scenario a number of times to me.
Posted By Rich, Pensacola, FL : 9:48 AM  

The plan will generate no interest, because pretty much everyone is disconnecting home phone service. The Telcos killed their own industry with the proliferation of the cell phone. Home phone service is basically worthless, as millions and millions of disconnects will continue to erode the shrinking revenue base of the phone companies. And giving away cell phone service to be competitive, will erode the profits to be gained in cellular. The brains that run the Telcos, still haven't figured out that I'm cheaper than you, will only put you out of business.
Posted By A Hill Atlanta, Georgia : 8:26 PM  

Dear A Hill, the reason big telcos can give away some services is that they more than make up for it in other areas or make up the money over a 2-3 year investment as with dsl service... And even though telcos have historically lost tons of landlines, that number is shrinking dramatically every quarter... DSL sales are thru the roof every quarter out doing the previous quarter, Same thing with Wireless, and with homezone rolling out now and the additional revenue stream from Bell South. ATT isnt going any where, besides they have had a record year last year Cingular quadded its sales over 4th quarter the previous year...

Suffice to say, ATT is strong and getting stronger thru diversity of product and market zones.

Saying that folks are disconnecting their home phones has been true more in the past than now. with bundling of services with homezone/dsl/wireless/wireline ATT is drawing people back to having wireline access.

yes giving product away can be a problem but not when you are as diverse as ATT is and will continue to be more so in the future.
Posted By Todd, DFW Texas : 3:18 PM  

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