AT&T Sends VoIP Home

by Colin C. Haley

Its Staples partnership targets home office users, while its TI pact will produce compatible products.

Looking to sell its broadband telephony service to more home office users, AT&T announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that its CallVantage service is now available at Staples .

The telecom's Voice over IP offering for home and small business users will be sold with an integrated analog phone adapter and a wireless router from Linksys (a division of Cisco ).

Staples is the ninth retailer to sell Ma Bell's broadband telephony offering, AT&T spokesman Gary Morgenstern told internetnews.com. Others include online giant Amazon.com and electronics chain Best Buy.

To date, most of AT&T's VoIP pitches have been targeted at residential users, but the Bedminster, N.J., carrier recently added a package tailored to small businesses.

"We only made our small office plan available on [Dec. 15] and have not begun promoting it yet, although customers are selecting it off the Web," Morgenstern said.

This is the second piece of VoIP news for AT&T this week.

Earlier, the company teamed with chipmaker Texas Instruments to provide VoIP equipment designers and manufacturers with platforms to accelerate design and production time for gateways and other components.

Products that use the jointly developed platforms will be compatible with AT&T's global IP network. Among the first will be dual-line corded or cordless broadband telephone systems from VTech Communications, the companies said.

AT&T's move comes as competition among VoIP providers heats up among telecoms, cable companies and VoIP upstarts. Broadband telephony provider Vonage this week announced that it had passed the 400,000 subscriber mark.

This article was originally published on Thursday Jan 6th 2005