AT&T SEES 500 AS A LUCKY CALL

By Published on .

It's getting harder to get away.

AT&T this fall will make available a new line of personalized, permanent numbers, called True Connections, allowing subscribers to be reached anywhere, any time.

Starting July 12, AT&T is taking reservations for personalized and "vanity" 500-numbers for the monthly fee service, expected to be used most by business executives and travelers.

The monthly fee is expected to be less than $10.

The 500-numbers are being distributed this week to all long-distance carriers by Bell Communications Research. The service allows subscribers to maintain a number wherever they go, including while traveling, on business and when relocating.

AT&T hasn't revealed ad plans, but the No. 1 long-distance marketer said it may add a new agency to its roster soon-"like a boutique or smaller shop"-to handle an undisclosed new assignment, said Dick Martin, VP-corporate advertising.

FCB/Leber Katz Partners, Young & Rubicam, N W Ayer and McCann-Erickson Worldwide, all New York, are AT&T's agencies.

The new service is a slicker version of AT&T's EasyReach 700 Service, offered in the U.S. since 1992 and internationally since May. The 500-number service allows immediate access plus "call sequencing," including routing incoming calls through a series of numbers with options for home, office and cellular telephones plus voicemail and paging.

AT&T said its EasyReach 700 Service will remain in operation, but the company expects more people will migrate to the technologically advanced 500-service.

No. 2 MCI Communications Corp. and No. 3 Sprint said they also plan to market 500-numbers, but neither would say when.

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