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Frontier adds Test-to-Landline service July 16, 2014

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in CLEC catagory.

FrontierBusiness customers are the target market for a new service from Frontier Communications that enables text messaging for landline phone numbers.

Underlying Frontier’s offering is cloud infrastructure from Zipwhip. To use the service, Frontier customers install software on their personal computer or use a browser interface to compose a message and enter the phone number to which they want to send the message. The message is sent to the Zipwhip cloud, which sends it as a text message to the recipient.

Inbound text messages also go through the Zipwhip cloud, which sends the messages to the business customer’s computer and, if desired, to other devices such as smartphones as well. All messages are stored in the Zipwhip cloud.

Pricing for the service begins at $4.99 a month for 250 monthly text messages when purchased as part of a “qualifying package” or $7.99 when not purchased in a qualifying package. A premium “Enterprise” version of the service includes unlimited texting and other capabilities such as unlimited auto reply, scheduled texting and group texting for $99.99 to $124.99 a month, depending on whether the service is purchased as part of a package. There is also a medium-level offering that sells for $19.99 to $24.99 a month and includes unlimited texting but not some of the other bells and whistles.

The Enterprise offering throttles text messages at a rate of 10 per minute, while the other two offerings throttle messages at a three-per-minute rate.

Frontier Texting is the company’s latest initiative aimed at eking as much value as possible out of its dwindling landline business. Back in May Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter said the company was planning a low-cost emergency-only phone service that would provide the capability to dial only 9-1-1 and the phone company over a traditional landline connection. That service aims to ensure that people can reach help even during a power outage.

Interestingly enough tiny CLEC Mosaic Networx has been offering this service for months. The offering allows them to offer text-to-landline on any carriers landline services with a validated LOA (letter of authorization) from the landline owner. It would appear that this offering is getting the attention of the large landline providers. This product could well mark a new way to open the landline market to all providers.


Joe Buck, NCE

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