Feeds

The Death Star storms into consumer Net phones

AT&T bring VoIP home

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

VoIP pioneers such as Vonage Inc, which boasts 75,000 pretty happy users, have been touted as revolutionary upstarts which would mortally threaten the incumbent telcos. Vonage offers cut-price telephony using your existing broadband connection for as little as $14.99 a month, and throws in features familiar to GSM cellphone subscribers, such as voicemail and caller ID, that usually carry a premium on landlines.

Advocates of the extinction theory overlooked one factor, however: all it takes for the incumbents not to be completely asleep.

In a move that parallels IBM's announcement of a Personal Computer, AT&T today announced that it will aggressively enter the business Vonage has pioneered. In addition to business VoIP, AT&T is to offer Net telephony in 100 major US metropolitan areas from early next year.

"VoIP is the most significant, fundamental new technology shift in telecommunications in decades," said Death Star's Chairman and CEO David Dorman in a canned statement. "We're on the verge of a VoIP revolution," he told financial analysts this week.

AT&T already says its networks carries more IP packets than anyone else, and its vertical integration give tiny innovators like Vonage a real battle. Vonage has been teaming up with smaller cable operators to simplify the bundle for beginners, but it's likely to face a squeeze between AT&T on one side, and Sprint, MCI and Time Warner Cable on the other. At the start of the week, the three giants said they were also teaming up to provide residential Net telephony.

But the VoIP revolution may not be the starting gun for an economic recovery. AT&T confirmed that it was cutting 8,500 jobs today or 12 per cent of its workforce, up from the 10 per cent it announced earlier. That's in addition to the 3,500 jobs lost a year ago and the 10,000 lost the year before that. ®

Related Stories

AT&T pitches public WiFi at Big Biz
AT&T chops 3,500 staff, turns to Covad for DSL

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.