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AT&T to Test Int'l VoIP

AT&T will test a new enterprise Voice over Internet Protocol offering in Asia and Europe this fall in advance of a 2005 launch.

The Bedminster, N.J., carrier's Telework service will help multinational companies provide employees with advanced calling features and broadband connections (either cable or DSL) at their homes or hotels.

The tests will occur in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom. AT&T is still negotiating with the companies that will pilot the offering.

"The trials are scheduled to run for six months," AT&T spokesman Gary Morgenstern told internetnews.com. "After that we'll analyze the data and the feedback."

The service is based on CallVantage, AT&T's residential VoIP service, which started a national rollout with service to parts of New Jersey and Texas this spring.

Telework will share CallVantage features including call logs that store information for months and let users forward voicemail to anyone on the Web; scheduling of "do not disturb" periods, sending calls right to voicemail; and a "locate me" service to forward calls to any phone or all of their phones at once.

The goal is to have seamless communications for workers, regardless of what device they are using or whether they are at home, on the road or in the office.

AT&T said it has inked interoperability agreements with the five leading equipment manufacturers -- Alcatel, Avaya, Cisco, Nortel Networks and Siemens.

Pricing for Telework will be set after the trials are completed, Morgenstern said.

News of the international VoIP plans comes a day after AT&T signed another deal that utilizes its global network. Metso Corp., a supplier of machinery for the paper and mineral industries, awarded a three-year, $8 million contract to At&T on Monday.

Under terms of the deal, AT&T will provide networking services for 130 Metso offices in 23 companies. Previously, Metso used 15 vendors in different regions for network services.