Telecom Italia : Alicephone brings video calling to broadband

12/05/2002 - 00:00 PM

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Use Alice and a Web Cam to make and receive video calls without tying up the standard phone line, at no extra cost beyond the standard ADSL subscription

Telecom Italia Domestic Wireline, Telecom Italia´s fixed-line network business unit, today launches “Alicephone” (Telefono di Alice), a brand-new broadband video communication service that is as simple as making a normal telephone call. 
Now all Alice subscribers can place a video phone call to any other Alice user via their PC. Both parties will be able to see one another on screen as long as they have a Web Cam attached to their systems. There is no supplement to pay for this service above standard subscription rates.
All that is necessary to use the service is an Alice subscription, Web Cam, microphone and a PC equipped with loudspeakers or headphones.
This application exploits the potential of ADSL but does not tie up the home phone, which can still be used to make and receive normal phone calls during video calls.

Costs

The service is included free of charge as part of the usual monthly Alice subscription fee. Time-based Alice plan subscribers (Alice Time or Alice 20 Ore) continue to pay the standard Internet access rate indicated in their price plan.

How it works

The video communication service has exclusively been developed for Alice clients and is accessed directly from the Alice Portal. To place a video call, simply insert the telephone number of the person you are calling into the application window.
Both parties must have a Web Cam connected to their PC in order to see one another on-screen. If only one party has a Web Cam, then the other party will only be present via audio and will not transmit video images. 

Add-on services

Alice video calling offers a whole range of add-on services:
 

“Videomail” plays back video messages left when the person you are calling is not connected to the Internet or when access is unavailable.
 

“Caller Filter” is a password-protected list of the people permitted to send video messages to your number, allowing users to screen out any unwelcome calls.
 

The “Address Book” stores the phone numbers of people with whom you wish to exchange video calls.
 

The “SMS Service” provides every Alice user with 10 free SMS messages per day, including messages to fixed-network numbers, which can be used to contact anybody to whom you wish to place a video call if that person is not connected to the Internet at that time.
 

Alice Web Cam Kit

This video calling kit consists of a Web Cam and microphone and is available to existing Alice customers and new subscribers. The Web Cam Kit may be purchased by calling 187 or from http://www.aliceadsl.it/ at a cost of 34.95 euros including VAT.
As a special offer, until 12 January 2003, buy one Web Cam Kit and get a second completely free of charge.