AOL announced today that it will begin its roll-out of a new VoIP service on October 4. The TotalTalk service transforms any high-speed Internet connection into a quality phone service that is simple to use and affordable, with savings of up to 40% off monthly phone bills, compared to traditional landline service. No AOL subscription is required and current AOL Internet Phone subscribers will receive this upgrade to the new and enhanced service automatically.
AOL's expertise in providing best-in-class communications features transforms TotalTalk into a telephone service that goes beyond what is currently available today. Combining the savings and convenience of a VoIP phone with a suite of advanced communications features, available at no additional charge, TotalTalk includes: a "soft phone" (free PC-to-PC calls and PC-to-Phone calling capabilities via a Preview Edition of the AIM Triton client), unified voice, e-mail and instant messaging, enhanced voicemail and call management capabilities, and the ability to make and receive calls on a home phone line from anywhere users have access to AIM.
The service includes at no additional cost many phone features such as: Call Waiting, Caller ID, 911 emergency calling, Star Codes, voice mail integrated with e-mail and Three-Way calling.
A Web-based Dashboard provides flexible, easy to use call management features such as: on-screen call alerts with call handling; call forwarding preferences; at-a-glance logs of incoming and outgoing calls; a frequently called number list; click-to-call features, and integration with address books.
TotalTalk(TM) makes it possible to manage and retrieve both voice and e-mail messages, anytime, anywhere from any touchtone phone or Web browser. Voicemail messages appear together with e-mail messages, and SMS alerts can be sent to mobile devices when a voicemail is left.
By downloading the Preview Edition of the AIM Triton software, available later this week, users will have access to a "soft phone" feature that enables them to make and answer phone calls on their home line through either the phone or the PC (with an AIM connected PC headset or USB phone). The soft phone feature, accessible from anywhere a user can log onto AIM, provides easy access to AIM Talk, a free PC-to-PC calling feature that includes multi-party chat capabilities, and a built-in dial pad to make PC-to-Phone calls, which are billed at home rates. Unlike other providers, the TotalTalk service includes these soft phone capabilities at no additional charge.
AOL also announced three new partnerships to bring industry-leading audio and video conferencing to its suite of voice and instant messaging products. AOL has worked closely with open source solution provider Pingtel, Global IP Sound, and On2 on custom-developed solutions that will deliver state-of-the-art audio and video quality, simplify connections behind firewalls, and provide SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) standard compliance and more to TotalTalk and AIM.
TotalTalk transforms any high-speed Internet connection into a quality home phone service. The service includes an easy-to-connect telephone terminal adapter/broadband router, which is plugged into an ordinary touchtone telephone and a cable or digital subscriber line (DSL) modem. To place and receive calls, users just pick up the adapter-connected telephone to dial numbers. Users do not need to have their computer turned on to make calls.
Pricing is as follows:
** Local Plan: $18.99 per month (plus taxes and additional fees) for unlimited local calling, plus $.039/min for domestic long distance
** Unlimited Calling Plan: $29.99 per month (plus taxes and additional fees) includes unlimited domestic long distance and Canada
** Global Calling Plan: $34.99 per month (plus taxes and additional fees) includes unlimited domestic long distance plus low international rates
The TotalTalk service and features offered by AOL are only available to residents of the U.S. AOL Canada also offers an AOL TotalTalk voice over IP phone service to Canadian residents.