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ALBANY, N.Y. - For just 25 cents, callers in upstate New York now can call family and friends in many countries around the world for a one-minute chat when they call from Verizon payphones.
Starting this week, more than 15,000 Verizon payphones in upstate New York will be equipped to handle international direct-dialed calls through an agreement with Phone1, a company that provides international long-distance service. The specially equipped phones with bright yellow handsets will be easy to spot. Last fall the service was introduced on 20,000 payphones in New York City and now is being expanded to upstate.
"We expect this great deal on international calling from Verizon payphones will be a big hit with New York's diverse population and the region's huge concentration of tourists from around the world," said Paul Francischetti, vice president of marketing and development for Verizon Public Communications. "Using just pocket change, New Yorkers can stay in touch anywhere in the world from anywhere in the state, and visitors can call home without inflating their hotel bills."
Few long-distance companies provide international direct-dialed calling from payphones at reasonable prices. Few payphones in New York allow international calling using coins, and the average price for a one-minute, international payphone call using a prepaid calling card is $2.50.
"Phone1 has assembled an international calling network that makes worldwide communication easy and affordable," said Dario Echeverry, president and CEO of Phone1Globalwide, Inc. "This is a service option that will add new value for consumers to the thousands of payphones Verizon operates in New York."
Callers can dial many countries for one minute with 25 cents in coins. An additional $1 in coins will buy one to 10 minutes depending on the call's destination. The service is only available using coins.
Dialing instructions will be placed on the specially equipped phones with bright yellow handsets. Callers only need to dial the international number they wish to reach.
There are no toll-free access or personal identification numbers to dial. Voice prompts tell the user when to deposit the coins and how many minutes that will buy. No operators are involved, unless a caller needs assistance . When 30 seconds of the call remain, a recording will tell the caller to deposit $1 in coins for an additional block of time. If no coins are deposited, the call will end when the time expires.
In addition to handling the international payphone calls, Phone1, a Miami-based company, will handle customer service and advertising for the new Verizon offering.
"This service is the next step in Verizon's continuing effort to strengthen our payphone business with calling features and services that help meet the challenge of competitive alternatives like wireless phones and e-mail," Francischetti said. "Making payphones global in reach at a great price will reinforce the value of payphones to both callers and the property owners who make them available to the public."
A complete list of countries and per-minute prices is available at www.phone1.com.
Verizon companies provide domestic, long-distance, direct-dialed calling at payphones in states where Verizon is currently authorized to provide long-distance service. In other jurisdictions, various long-distance providers carry the calls.
Phone1, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Phone1Globalwide, Inc. (PHGW.ob), a Miami, FL-based facilities provider of integrated communications services to U.S.-based local and long distance telecommunications and payphone operators. Through our subsidiaries, we maintain operating agreements that deliver services in many countries throughout the world using third-party networks. We also use proprietary and exclusively-licensed versions of proprietary technology to offer international and domestic long distance telephone calling from payphones in the United States to anywhere in the world. For more information visit www.phone1.com.
A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.