Wednesday, December 1, 2004

America Online Launches Consumer Voice Conferencing

America Online launched a consumer version of its AIM Voice Conferencing service (AVC) -- a presence-enabled group calling service that AOL likens to a "party line." Up to 15 people can participate in the multi-party phone call using the AIM Buddy List. AVC calls are conducted over regular telephone lines, and there are no dial-ins or PIN numbers to remember. The service uses Lightbridge's GroupTalk dial-out conferencing technology, which places toll-free calls directly to participants on either landlines or mobile phones.

The service launches with a promotional offer for 500 free AVC minutes for new AVC users. AIM Voice Conferencing minutes ("AVC minutes") are counted on a 'per minute, per user' basis in which the total number of minutes spent on the call is multiplied by the number of call participants. Rates for AVC minutes thereafter are charged at $0.15 each (per minute, per user) and are purchased in advance in increments of $20, $50 or $100. Depending on their service agreement, users who receive AVC calls on mobile devices may incur charges from their mobile service provider.

  • The AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service is currently handling nearly two billion instant messages each day.


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