BEDMINSTER, NJ: AT&T's entry into the internet phone-service market is part of the telecom giant's effort to be seen as more than just a telephone company.
AT&T has started offering the phone service, over internet broadband, in New Jersey and Texas. The service offers unlimited local and long-distance, with a bevy of features such as call forwarding, voice-mail, and conferencing that can be controlled by a person's computer.
But since the concept of voice over internet protocol, also known as VOIP, is still a foreign concept to most consumers, AT&T will use its ongoing branding campaign to help educate them, said Connie Weaver, EVP of PR, marketing, and brand.
AT&T's PR and marketing will focus on introducing consumers to internet phone service and educating them on the services they can get with VOIP. But the initiatives will also focus on establishing AT&T as the innovative leader in this space, as Cablevision, Vonage, and Qwest are already offering VOIP and Verizon plans to jump into the market soon.
AT&T launched an aggressive global brand and marketing campaign in February to show that it is more than just a phone company, offering numerous IT and networking services, including VOIP.
"We are a networking company that provides individuals and companies with the services they need for their lives," said Weaver. "[VOIP] is another step in our branding efforts. The campaign is very exciting. It's well integrated, a beautiful nexus of PR and advertising. We want to make sure we capture people's attention. This is going to change the way people communicate."