Verizon Wireless becomes first national carrier to begin offering ringback tones; customers can play their favorite song, soundtrack or voice track for callers

Customers in Sacramento and throughout Southern California are the first to be able to personalize the sounds callers hear before a call is answered.   

BEDMINSTER, NJ and IRVINE, CA — Verizon Wireless announced today it is the first national carrier to offer Ringback Tones — short clips of real music that replace the standard ring callers hear when they call the Verizon Wireless phone of a Ringback Tone subscriber. Customers in Sacramento and throughout southern California are the first to be able to personalize the sounds callers hear before a call is answered.

"The first time you call somebody who has Ringback Tones on their phone it's a nice surprise. Just imagine listening to a cool song when you call someone on their wireless phones instead of hearing the same ring we've heard all these years," said Fran Shammo, president of Verizon Wireless' West Area.

Customers can browse from an initial catalog of more than 2,200 songs in 13 different music genres from Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, including RAP Hip Hop, Soundtracks, Metal/Alternative, R&B/Soul, 80's, Classic Rock, Pop/Rock, Country, Club Hits, 70's, Oldies, 60's and Holiday. Set-up options include a standard ringback tone (including the Verizon Wireless standard ringback tone), or customers can choose to have different ringback tones play for different callers based on the Caller ID, Group List or the time of day.

"While we are dedicated to bringing innovative services to the marketplace in the best possible way for our customers to use, it's also great to be the first national wireless carrier to begin to offer ringback tones. Ringback tones have proven very popular in other parts of the world and we are thrilled to be working with SK Telecom on this project," said Jim Straight, vice president of wireless data and multimedia for Verizon Wireless. "As the first wireless company in the world to offer ringback tones, Korea's SK Telecom has been a real help to us as we developed this service. We look forward to continuing to work with them."

To get Ringback Tones, customers can go to the Ringback Tones Web site at On the Web, customers can register, browse the categories and preview ringback tones before they buy. Customers can also sign up to receive a TXT alert whenever selected artists release new ringback tones by visiting the My Alerts section of the site and selecting TXT notifications. Standard text messaging rates apply to these TXT alerts.

Customers can also sign up for Ringback Tones right from their TXT Messaging-capable phones. Sign up is easy. Send the TXT message "RBT" to address "728". Reply to accept the service, and send the TXT message "List" to "728" to receive a list of ringback tones available for purchase. A list of song ID codes will be sent to the phone as a TXT message and customers can purchase a ringback tone by sending the song ID code as a TXT message to "728". Standard text messaging rates may apply. From that point on, all callers will hear the new ringback tone. Customers can manage who gets to hear their ringback tone, purchase more tones and manage their accounts by visiting  

Ringback Tones are available to Verizon Wireless customers in Sacramento and Southern California markets beginning today for a monthly fee of $0.99 per month. Each ringback tone purchased is $1.99, which provides unlimited use for one year. Both the monthly fee and cost for each tone appear on the customer's monthly bill.

Verizon Wireless expects Ringback Tones to be available throughout its network by mid-2005.

Verizon Wireless products and services are available in more than 1,200 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, at participating Best Buy, Circuit City and RadioShack locations and on the Web at