RealTime IT News

Microsoft, Nortel Ink Call Waiting Pact

Microsoft Corp. and Nortel Networks Corp. Thursday inked a deal to provide MSN Net subscribers with Nortel's Net call waiting service.

Nortel's (NT) service erases the need for a second phone line and allows clients to receive phone calls while remaining connected to the Net.

The deal enables MSN customers to have caller ID and caller waiting services via the Net without losing their connection.

The caller waiting service is now available in Atlanta, Seattle and San Diego and subsequently will be available in 50 major cities over the next several months.

When online, users will be notified about incoming calls from a pop-up message with the name and number of the caller. At this point, they may answer the call via phone or computer or click on an icon to forward the call to a voice mail number -- all without losing their Net connection.

The current monthly fee ranges from $4.95 to $5.95, depending on location. The service may be ordered here.

"Teaming with an industry leader like Nortel Networks provides our customers with a reliable, easy and affordable Internet call waiting solution and advances our Web vision by helping customers to leverage the full power of the Internet," said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing for Microsoft's (MSFT) consumer and commerce group.