SBC Communications Announces IP-Based Service That Syncs Wireline and Wireless Voicemails, Faxes, and Emails

/>SAN ANTONIO - SBC Communications Inc. announced SBC Unified Communications(SM), a new service that uses IP (Internet Protocol) to enable customers to gather all of their message services into one system. Rather than check multiple places for messages, customers with Unified Communications can access multiple message sources through a single gateway.


Voice messages, faxes, and emails are integrated into a common mailbox, allowing consumers and small businesses to retrieve, forward, and reply to messages via phone, or online.


The service is available as a standalone service or in bundles of SBC residential services.


SBC companies also unveiled in June plans to build a next-generation fiber optic-based network - pending regulatory clarity and completion of market trials that would enable integrated digital TV, VoIP services, and broadband services for consumers and small business.


With Unified Communications, subscribers will no longer have to miss important messages or spend valuable time checking multiple mailboxes. Unified Communications gathers different types of messages in one place and makes them accessible from any place the customer happens to be. Additionally, Unified Communications offers the following features:

  • Cingular Wireless integration: Unified Communications integrates with Cingular Wireless, so customers can access wireless messages from the same portal as landline, email, and fax messages.
  • Integrated message center: Unified Communications' integrated message center allows subscribers to view wireless and wireline voicemail, email, and fax subject lines all in one inbox. Unified Communications uses an email-like interface, allowing for prioritization and organization of messages.
  • Message access: The text-to-speech technology reads emails over the phone. Users can listen to voicemails over their computers. Customers can "untie" from the fax machine by checking fax message headers from the phone, and view and print them through the computer.
  • Message indicators: When customers receive a new email, voicemail or fax, a message indicator alert can be sent to their online mailbox, and wireless and wireline phones - if the customer activates the message indicator alerts. Once messages are checked on one device, the message indicators on the others are updated.
  • Pager notification: For customers who want to be notified about incoming messages, they can activate the pager function, which sends a notification of a new message to their pagers or wireless phones.
  • Online storage: Unified Communications comes with 50 MB of storage for consumers and 100 MB for businesses, and customers can purchase up to 150 MB of additional storage space in 50 MB increments.
  • Separate mailboxes: Users can establish four shared Unified Communications mailboxes under one platform, allowing business colleagues and families to keep their messages separate, each owning a mailbox with separate security codes.
  • Distribution lists: Customers can establish as many as 15 distribution lists, each with up to 25 entries. These entries can be telephone numbers or email addresses.
Unified Communications is the latest addition to the company's portfolio of IP services. IP, the basic language of the Internet, is capable of carrying voice, data and video over a network infrastructure. SBC companies will continue to enhance the Unified Communications product with features such as an integrated personal address book shared among wireline, wireless, and computers - eliminating the need to keep three separate lists of contacts.

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