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AT&T rolls out premium gaming service

Just in time to capitalize on the Christmas season computer buying spree, the telco giant launches a premium gaming offering on AT&T WorldNet.

    AT&T is launching a new service that's all fun and games.

    Just in time to capitalize on the Christmas season computer buying spree, the telco giant today is launching a premium gaming offering on its online service AT&T WorldNet.

    "This is the perfect time to launch and raise awareness of online gaming, which is really growing rapidly," said AT&T spokesman Jonathan Varman.

    The move comes two days after AT&T introduced a $21.95-per-month unlimited Internet access plan to compliment its 150 online hours-per month service, which is available for $19.95 per month.

    The unlimited plan offers services--such as multiple email addresses, storage, and an AT&T instant messaging client--similar to online leader America Online, which also charges $21.95 per month.

    The premium gaming service, dubbed GameHub, will cost AT&T WorldNet users an additional $4.95 per month, and is another attempt by the telco to become a dominant player in the Net access business.

    Toward that goal, AT&T recently has made several deals in an effort to package its service with portals such as Lycos and Yahoo.

    It also continues to promote its telecom services. For example, GameHub features a high-speed line that users can access through a regular modem, Varman said.

    "You're going to continue seeing WorldNet incorporating many different value-added services," he said.