On Friday, Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan sent four voice e-mail messages from a telephone to 3 million Internet users throughout Taiwan.
Utilizing the FirstGate Internet voice-messaging system developed by Maryland-based ITServ Inc, the vice president and his wife took the opportunity to offer Chinese New Year’s and Valentine’s Day greetings.
The event was covered by all major television networks in Taiwan and hosted by Yao Chen, chairman of state-owned Chung-Hwa Telecom.
ITServ and HiNet, an ISP controlled by Chung-Hwa Telecom and the country’s largest with 900,000 dial-ups, constructed a nationwide voice messaging network in Taiwan and its offshore islands that permits users to send and receive voice messages over the Internet with standard telephones.
“We are very thankful to HiNet and ITServ for making this innovative
technology available for public services,” said Chan.
“I chose to use FirstGate to let the people
of Taiwan know that the Information Era has arrived and that the Internet is
fast becoming an integral fabric of our society’s infrastructure,” he said.
HiNet has been working with ITServ to make FirstGate services
available to all of its customers.
FirstGate allows people to send voice
messages over the Internet to e-mail addresses worldwide from any touch-tone
Messages are delivered as standard WAV sound file attachments and
can be replayed in the FirstGate sender’s voice message with a sound card
ITServ was founded by Dr. Ted Lau in 1995 as a provider of easy-to-use
Internet communications software and is headed by Lau and
chief technologist, Professor H.T. Kung of Harvard University.