GTE Internet customers can now access and retrieve their e-mail by telephone
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Mail Call's cutting edge text-to-speech technology service now available to GTE Internet customers
DALLAS - GTE (NYSE: GTE) Internet subscribers who are away from their PCs now do not have to be away from their e-mail. GTE has introduced a unique new service to its Internet customers enabling them to listen to their e-mail over any touch-tone telephone. The service is provisioned and supported by Mail Call, a premiere developer of text-to-speech products.
"Our customers are now just a phone call away from their e-mail," said Michael Bolduc, director of product management for GTE Internet services, a part of GTE. "Your personal computer can't go everywhere with you, but now your e-mail can. Mail Call is another way we're helping our customers easily meet and manage all their messaging needs."
GTE Internet subscribers can sign up for the Mail Call service online at www.mailcall.net/gte/. To access e-mail, subscribers call a toll-free number and then enter their personalized customer ID and PIN numbers. The service tells them in a computerized voice how many e-mail messages are in their GTE Internet mailbox and reads the headers for each. Users can then choose whether or not to listen to each message, reply to the sender by voice or pre-recorded message, send the message to a fax machine, or even create new messages to send to anyone in their address book.
In addition, users can set options on the Mail Call web page that allow them to block messages from certain senders from being read over the phone, or to organize messages from senders in priority order. Price for use is 20 cents a minute, with an annual maintenance fee of $5.
"This service presents a tremendous advantage to travelers who don't want to carry laptop computers with them on the road simply to access their e-mail," said Ron Schnell, president of Mail Call. "Now, instead of looking for a data port, all GTE's customers need to find is a touch-tone phone."
GTE provides dial-up Internet access for residential and small business customers. With more than 800 local points of presence nation-wide, its dial-up customer base has grown from 70,000 to over 850,000 subscribers currently. This growth was driven by GTE's continued success in bundling consumer Internet access with other communications services, as well as the company's success in leveraging distribution relationships with computer manufacturers such as Compaq, Hewlett-Packard Company, Dell Computer, Sony Electronics Inc., Acer and Recompute. With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services. More information about GTE can be found on the Internet at http://www.gte.com.
About Mail Call
Mail Call was founded in 1997 with a mission to develop useful text-to-speech e-mail products. The Mail Call service was introduced in January 1998 and is a subscriber-based service that gives users quick and easy access to e-mail messages from any telephone. Mail Call is available over the Internet and through strategic partnerships with companies such as Concentric Networks, Inc. Users can hear a demo of the Mail Call service by dialing (888) MAIL-CAL and entering "1#' when asked for a customer ID. See www.mailcall.net for more information.
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