GTE delivers the mail - electronically; San Angelo residential messaging trial first for GTE

IRVING, Texas -- "Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night" can stop GTE Messaging. Messaging is a telephone mail service that makes communicating with family, friends and associates easy, fast and reliable. Voice messages will be delivered 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week to San Angelo, Texas, residents during the 120-day market trial.

GTE's first residential messaging trial began November 15 when more than 40,000 electronic mailboxes are given to San Angelo area customers. San Angelo was picked for its strong community involvement. The success of the trial will determine if the service is offered to other GTE customers.

"GTE Messaging has unlimited uses - from birth announcements to prison breaks. With round-the-clock availability, messages can be left at the customer's convenience, in the middle-of-the-night or the middle-of-the-day," said John Wimsatt, GTE Messaging product manager.

For the first 30 days, GTE is waiving the charge for sending messages. Beginning Saturday, Dec. 16, the charge for each message ranges from 15 to 25 cents. There is no montly service charge or cost for receiving messages.

Telephone mail is almost as fast as a speeding bullet, according to Wimsatt, and would allow neighborhood watch groups to keep in close touch. The cost of sending a voice message is less than a postcard and is delivered in the sender's voice instantly.

Sending a Message

GTE's telephone messaging uses the VoiceServer, developed by Digital Sound Corp., based in Carpinteria, California. The system allows customers to send telephone messages directly to another customer's mailbox by dialing an access code and following the voice prompts. Customers can create 15 messaging groups of up to 24 people each. One messages can be "broadcast," simultaneously to everyone in the group.

Receiving a Message

A "stutter" or interrupted dial tone alerts customers to a message waiting in their electronic mailbox. After listening to a message, the addressee can respond back to the sender easily. For example, a teacher can leave homework instructions for the class via telephone mail and parents can reply if they need clarification or have questions.

Telephone mail can't be retrieved remotely, unless the customer subscribes to GTE's Personal Secretary( service.

Uses for GTE Messaging

Wimsatt said telephone mail is a time saver and could be used for:

  • neighborhood watch updates;

  • teachers leaving homework assignments;

  • notification or reminders of meetings, practices, games;

  • extending social invitations;

  • holiday greetings;

  • personal messages.

GTE Telephone Operations is the largest U.S.-based local telephone company. Its parent company, GTE Corporation, is the fourth-largest publicly owned telecommunications company in the world.