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AT&T adds to Internet phone services

The carrier marshals additional features to keep up with the competitive world of VoIP.

AT&T on Thursday announced new features for its CallVantage users as it continues to battle in the highly competitive Net telephony market.

New features in the CallVantage Plus include a second telephone line at a discounted price, call filtering for $1.99 per month, and a "record and send" feature that allows a user to make repetitive calls to up to 20 numbers.

CallVantage is a telephone service based on voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It lets people talk over a broadband Internet connection, and hence is much cheaper than traditional, taxed wireline service.

Net telephony is gaining acceptance with even standard phone companies. Its increasing popularity has already set off a price war among several service providers.

The CallVantage Plus service allows distinct numbers to be provided to a maximum of nine users, who can each program "Do Not Disturb" or "Locate Me" features. "Do Not Disturb" ensures that only urgent calls are let through. The locating feature lets calls reach a user wherever he or she is available. Each of the users can receive a discrete call log. CallVantage Plus costs $7.49 per user per month.

Another option available to Callvantage subscribers is a second line for a monthly rate of $29.99 for a new line with a long distance service. The charge comes down to $19.99 for local only.