With its rivals fighting tooth and nail over market share, competing essentially on price, and giving away some of the premium features, AT&T is taking another tact – it is going premium and is going to charge more for bonus features. For instance it is offering a Record & Send service, which means you can record a message and send it to 20 different numbers. This is a free service on most other networks, but AT&T will charge 49 cents per use. In addition it is charging $1.99 a month for call filtering. There are a whole bunch of free features the company is offering including ability to use data from you Palm or Outlook directories. It is a curious time for AT&T to be getting into the premium game, given that despite spending millions, the company still hasn’t revealed the total number of VoIP customers it has signed up.
One of two things could happen. The strategy might fail to win new customers for AT&T, in which case the telco might have to abandon charging extra for some services to keep up with the competition. Or AT&T may succeed in attracting customers, in which case other VoIP service providers may be emboldened to raise prices or charge extra for so-called premium services. [Phone Plus]