Cable customers in Virginia can now dial into an Internet-protocol phone
service thanks to a deal struck between Tele-Media Corp. and technology provider
Gemini Voice Solutions Inc.
Tele-Media -- which has 250,000 cable subscribers in nine states -- is now
offering U.S. calling plans for local and long-distance service at a flat
monthly fee. The plans range from $19.95 for 500 minutes of local and long
distance, $29.95 for 750 minutes and $44.95 for 1,500 minutes.
In addition, the service offers an upgrade package with a second line, voice
mail, caller ID, call waiting, caller return and customized ring tone for $18
The system uses Gemini's proprietary IP-voice system, including a soft switch
and call-management server; an IP-to-public-switched-telephone-network
interface; customer-premises unit; and the operating and back-office system.
Tele-Media plans to widely deploy the IP-voice service along with its rollout
of high-speed data.
"We believe the addition of voice to a cable-TV and broadband-services bundle
is a critical competitive advantage for us and gives our customers an
additional, high-value reason to stay with Tele-Media," vice president of
information technology Steve Koval said.
"Gemini Voice has been able to provide a completely integrated service
solution that has minimized any additional resource allocations from our end,"
Gemini installed a similar voice system in competitive broadband provider
WideOpenWest LLC's Denver network in late 2001, and the company is now in trials
with several other cable, wireless and digital-subscriber-line