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AT&T OPENS PHONE SERVICE TO VIETNAM FOR FIRST TIME IN 17 YEARS

 AT&T OPENS PHONE SERVICE TO VIETNAM FOR FIRST TIME IN 17 YEARS
 WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T said it will begin handling the first direct dial telephone calls between the United States and Vietnam in 17 years at 12:01 a.m. EDT, Saturday, April 25.
 Customers dialing their own calls will be connected, initially, through third countries, although operator assistance won't be necessary. However AT&T said that within weeks all calls over some 210 satellite, undersea cable and microwave facilities will be routed directly between the United States and Vietnam.
 The service was scheduled to begin after the Federal Communications Commission and other government agencies gave final approvals late today for AT&T to re-establish communications links with Vietnam, which were shut down in 1975.
 The company said it expected heavy calling volumes to develop involving some 700,000 Vietnamese now living in the United States and their families, relatives and friends in Vietnam.
 AT&T offers international direct dialing, operator-assisted and AT&T Calling Card calls to Vietnam and collect and AT&T Calling Card calls from Vietnam, as well as messenger service. Messenger service allows a caller in the United States to arrange, through an AT&T and Vietnamese operator, to talk with someone in Vietnam at a specified time and place.
 Messenger service is a useful service in Vietnam because there are only 100,000 phones for the 70 million people living there. Nearly half the phones in Vietnam are in Ho Chi Minh City.
 Customers can call Vietnam by dialing the country code for Vietnam, 84, then the city code and telephone number of the party they are attempting to call. The city code for Hanoi is 4 and the code for Ho Chi Minh City is 8.
 The prices for calls from the U.S. mainland to Vietnam are:
 Initial Minute Additional Minute
 Standard Time
 (5 p.m. - 2 a.m.) $2.91 $2.17
 Discount Time
 (2 a.m. - 11 a.m.) 2.71 1.97
 Economy
 (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.) 2.51 1.77
 Today's announcement follows the U.S. State Department's grant, last week, of an exception to the economic embargo with Vietnam to allow calls between the two countries.
 -0- 4/24/92
 /CONTACT: Lynn Newman of AT&T, 201-644-7041, or home, 201-993-8033/
 (T) CO: AT&T ST: New Jersey IN: TLS SU: PDT


KD -- NY095 -- 2699 04/24/92 16:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 24, 1992
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