Dubbed Verizon VoiceWing 500, the plan offers 500 minutes of outbound local and domestic long-distance calls per month, along with unlimited inbound calls and free calls to other VoiceWing subscribers. The service, unveiled Wednesday, costs $19.95 a month.
That's cheaper than the company's higher-end for the first 12 months). Incoming calls are also free with these older plans.plan, which costs $34.95 per month for unlimited calls. (Subscribers to Verizon's DSL service can get it for $24.95
Verizon's move is seen as an attempt to stay afloat in the intensely competitive market for services based on VoIP, or voice over Internet Protocol.
Rival AT&T recently reported that its, pulled in only 53,000 subscribers in 2004.
VoiceWing gives subscribers the option of listing their number on a 411 residential directory assistance database. It supports faxing as well; any VoiceWing subscriber who uses a Linksys PAP2 telephone adapter can use the fax service at no extra cost. The service also lets a customer block 20 predetermined phone numbers.
Additionally, subscribers can purchase up to five additional telephone numbers to use for incoming calls--and customers can have their pick of area codes.
"For example, if you have an out-of-town friend or relative who calls you frequently, you can purchase an additional incoming number with their area code. Then every call they make to you will be a local call for them," Michelle Swittenberg, executive director for Verizon's consumer VoIP services, said in a statement.