PHONE COMPANIES GO HEAD TO HEAD WITH SELECTION OF NEW CALLING PLANS.Byline: Deborah Adamson Daily News Staff Writer
With the deregulation Deregulation
The reduction or elimination of government power in a particular industry, usually enacted to create more competition within the industry.
Traditional areas that have been deregulated are the telephone and airline industries. of the local phone market in California, major players are offering a mind-boggling variety of rates and plans to lure customers from competitors.
Here's a guide to some of the plans that are available now:
AT&T is offering two new services for businesses: Business Local Service for small to medium-size companies and Digital Link for larger firms.
Business Local Service targets companies that spend less than $2,500 monthly on their phone bill. There's a $10.32 monthly charge and calls are 2 cents a minute for local calls placed at any time.
Digital Link adds local calling to a current AT&T service for companies that have dedicated lines into its network and spend more than $2,500 a month on telecommunication services. But for now, AT&T will only handle calls going out. It expects to be able to carry incoming local calls later on in the year.
MCI (1) (Media Control Interface) A high-level programming interface from Microsoft and IBM for controlling multimedia devices. It provides commands and functions to open, play and close the device.
(2) (Microwave Communications Inc. Home Phone Service, for residential customers, offers a flat rate of $24.95 a month for one phone line with unlimited local and toll calls. Each additional line adds $19.95 a month. Long-distance calls cost extra.
MCI Business Phone Service, for small-business clients, offers a $20 flat rate a month with 400 free local calls. Additional calls are charged at 3 cents a minute and extra lines are $15 each, monthly.
NetworkMCI One, for medium to large firms, charges from $9.30 to $9.80 a month per line, plus 7.2 cents for each local call.
Customers who don't want a flat rate for local calls can opt for two other plans that charge between 0.6 cents and 3.6 cents per minute.
MCI, like all the new competitors for local phone business, hopes to grab a growing piece of market share with these plans.
``By the year 2000, we're looking at a $2 billion to $3 billion income stream from local phone services,'' said Lynn Coker, MCI local services general manager.
Pacific Bell is fighting back with an aggressive marketing plan of its own.
To keep current residential customers happy, the phone company offers an award program where they accumulate points based on their phone bill. The points can be redeemed for things ranging from discount coupons to plane tickets.
Last month, Pac Bell started sending out its new calling cards that charge calls at a guaranteed rate. Previously, if a customer used the calling card at a pay phone, he or she would be charged at rates imposed by the phone company that is handling that particular phone - which are usually higher. The new cards would guarantee that clients pay a rate no matter whose phone they use.
Next week, Pac Bell will start mailing out its first bilingual phone bills - in Spanish and English. Soon, it will introduce large print bills as well.
GTE GTE General Telephone & Electronics
GTE Génie Thermique et Énergie (French)
GTE Gas Turbine Engine
GTE Global Tropospheric Experiment
GTE Geothermal Energy
GTE Gas Turbine Efficiency plc (Sweden & USA) is testing its ``one-bill'' concept in Santa Barbara Santa Barbara (săn'tə bär`brə, –bərə), city (1990 pop. 85,571), seat of Santa Barbara co., S Calif., on the Pacific Ocean; inc. 1850. and San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden .
Telephone, wireless services, local and long distance as well as Internet costs are compiled in one bill.
Even purchases of phone equipment can be put on the same bill. It hopes to offer this service in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. later this year.
But with so few local service entries so far, bargain hunting Bargain Hunt is a daytime television programme on BBC One, which started in the year 2000. Format
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adj. lous·i·er, lous·i·est
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3. ,'' said Michael Shames, executive director of Utility Consumers Action Network in San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. .
SMART SHOPPING Consumer advocates give these tips in sorting through the new local phone service options:
For savings, service, the convenience of having one phone bill and generally one company to call for billing and other problems, many experts agree it can pay to have one provider.
Look at your calling pattern to decide among the different plans, advised Tom Long, senior telecommunications attorney at Toward Utility Rate Normalization In relational database management, a process that breaks down data into record groups for efficient processing. There are six stages. By the third stage (third normal form), data are identified only by the key field in their record. , a utility consumer watchdog consumer watchdog n → organización f protectora del consumidor
consumer watchdog n → organisme m pour la défense des consommateurs
group in San Francisco.
For people who make plenty of toll calls, MCI's plan might be better, said Michael Shames, executive director of Utility Consumers Action Network in San Diego.
But for Consumer Action spokeswoman Linda Sherry, who doesn't make a lot of calls at home, the local phone company's plan works just fine for her.
``You change when you see a big benefit to you,'' she said. ``I don't see it at this point.''
Box: SMART SHOPPING (See text)