Telecom Giant Launches Co-Branded Net Services

AT&T WorldNet Service Wednesday
debuted its co-branded Internet access program by signing-up a powerful
foursome of firms.

The WorldNet partnership program allows businesses to offer their customers
full-featured dial-up services in affiliation with the AT&T Corp. Internet division.

WorldNet forged co-branding agreements with Sam’s Club, Flooz.com, Toshiba America, and USA TODAY.

Each dial-up partner has different plans to launch their co-branded
Internet access programs over the next several months. The WorldNet
marketing scheme enables the companies to offer customers a value-added
service designed to drive more traffic to their Web sites.

Ed Chatlos, AT&T WorldNet Service vice president and general manager said
the offer presents a powerful marketing tool to partners.

“The combination of our Internet service and world-class reliability gives
our program participants a powerful tool to keep their brand top-of-mind
with consumers, drive more traffic to their own sites and provide targeted
offers and communications to their customers,” Chatlos said.

The heart of WorldNet’s co-branded service is its so-called i495 program
launched earlier this year. The co-branded version of its reduced-fee
connectivity features a multi-function toolbar that delivers constant
advertising messages, as well as access to e-mail and search functions.

Program member links also receive prominent placement at WorldNet’s
electronic storefront for cross-promotions with WorldNet members.

AT&T WorldNet’s i495 program is an advertising supported service plan that
provides subscribers with unlimited dial-up access for $5 a month, as long
as they accept a constant stream of advertisements.

SAM’S Club intends to reward their new top shoppers with the co-branded
WorldNet offer. SAM’s Club is also offering a $10 merchandise rebate when
shoppers upgrade to its “elite” buying program.

In September, USA TODAY plans to offer its daily newspaper in tandem with
the WorldNet i495 program for $13 a month. Toshiba will be offering the
service as part of a software bundle on a limited lineup of desktop and
notebook personal computers.

Online shopping promoter Flooz.com intends to utilize AT&T’s Internet
program to enhance customer loyalty. Flooz.com prospects will receive a
bundled promotion that nets customers $30 in Flooz.com gift certificates
for $20, when they sign up for the WorldNet i495 service.

AT&T’s Chatlos said that co-branded Internet services are a great value for
retailers, financial services, the travel and leisure industry,
pharmaceutical companies, wholesale distributors, online marketers and
equipment manufacturers.

“The interest in AT&T’s i495 Offer from such a broad set of industry
participants is an obvious endorsement of our program,” said Chatlos.
“These companies recognize the value of building a relationship with a
world-class company like AT&T when providing ISP services to their
customers.”

However, AT&T WorldNet is a little late to the co-branding game that is
currently dominated by no-fee ISPs and access facilitators like NetZero, Inc. , 1stUp.com, and Spinway, Inc.

WorldNet may also benefit by up-selling i495 clients to more profitable
high-speed services like digital subscriber line and cable modem access. Juno Online Services, Inc. has made
service upgrades the mainstay of their marketing plan for quite some time.
In doing so, Juno has aggregated an online community of
more than 11 mi

llion members.

Although WorldNet is venturing into a highly competitive market segment, by
putting its AT&T brand name on the line, the co-branding initiative will
most likely be a successful endeavor for the telecom giant.

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