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VOICEDIALING SERVICE COMES TO MASSACHUSETTS

 BOSTON, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Residents in 18 Massachusetts communities will soon be able to dial telephone calls just by speaking the name of the person they're calling.
 New England Telephone's plan to offer VoiceDialing(sm) Service throughout the state over the next several years has received the go- ahead from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
 As a result, VoiceDialing Service will be offered in the Salem exchange in mid-July, and in 17 other exchanges in coming months. The service will be more widely available in eastern Massachusetts and parts of Boston in 1994.
 VoiceDialing Service is the world's first network-based voice- activated dialing service that lets customers place calls by just speaking into the telephone. It can also be used to activate other services like Call Answering and Phonesmart features, eliminating the need to memorize access codes.
 Before using the service, a caller first programs his or her VoiceDialing Directory by speaking into the telephone in any language a series of names or places along with their corresponding telephone numbers. Once the directory has been programmed, the service is ready for use.
 To make a call, the caller picks up the telephone receiver and says a name or place. The sound of the caller's voice is compared to speech patterns the caller has stored in the VoiceDialing Directory. Once a match is made, a computer dials the telephone number the caller has associated with that name or place.
 There is no need to use special equipment. The service can be used with rotary of touch tone telephones. Customers may still dial manually at any time.
 The service is available with a 30-name directory for $4.50 a month for residence customers and $8 for businesses. Those who want to store up to 50 names in their directories may subscribe for $5.50 a month for residence customers and $9 for businesses. The initial sign-up fee -- $7.60 for residence customers and $34.71 for businesses -- will be waived for 90 days from the day the service is made available in a given exchange.
 VoiceDialing Service will be available in 1993 in the following Massachusetts telephone exchanges: Andover, Arlington, Belmont, Boston (Bowdoin exchange only), Cambridge (Ware St. exchange only), Canton, Lynnfield, Milton, Needham, Randolph, Reading, Salem, Saugus, Somerville, Wakefield, West Peabody, Wilmington, and Winthrop.
 Technology for the service was developed by NYNEX Science & Technology, the research unit of NET's parent company NYNEX (NYSE: NYN).
 Historical Note: Salem, the first exchange to receive VoiceDialing Service, was the site of the world's first news story filed by telephone.
 On Feb. 12, 1877, "Boston Globe" correspondent Henry Batchelder covered a lecture and demonstration of the telephone by its inventor Alexander Graham Bell at the Lyceum Hall in Salem. Bell's telephone was connected to his Exeter Place, Boston laboratory where messages were received by Thomas A. Watson.
 Following the talk, Batchelder used Bell's invention to speak to the "Globe's" A.B. Fletcher at the Exeter Place laboratory and convey his notes on the lecture and demonstration which had just taken place. Fletcher took his notes to the "Globe" city room on Washington St. and wrote the story which appeared Feb. 13, 1877.
 -0- 6/29/93
 /CONTACT: Local NET Public Relations rep or John Johnson of New England Telephone, 617-743-3677/
 (NYN)


CO: New England Telephone ST: Massachusetts IN: TLS SU: PDT

DJ -- NE010 -- 6751 06/29/93 14:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 29, 1993
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