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AT&T CallVantage

The A&T CallVantage program comes in three price ranges: $19.99 a month plus 4 cents a minute local calling to the U.S. and Canada; $29.99 a month with unlimited North America calling; and $49.99 a month for unlimited North American calls plus a second line 500 free monthly long-distance calling minutes. Each plan requires a $29.99 activation fee.

I chose the $29.99 CallVantage Service Plan option (Figure 4). Bundled-in features include the standard speed dialing, call waiting, voice mail, conference calling, plus a neat "Locate Me" feature. This amenity allows calls to your VoIP number to be forwarded to as many as five alternate numbers should you not pick up. These numbers can be associated with standard phone lines, such as the one your Mom may have.

AT&T CallVantage Service Plan Features

Figure 4: AT&T CallVantage Service Plan Features
(click image to enlarge)

By its nature, Locate Me is a de facto emergency alert service, but I have a problem with the nature of how the limited emergency service was described on the CallVantage site. Clicking on the Emergency 911 Calling link produced a small pop-up box that referred to "some important differences" in these services possible via CallVantage compared to standard phone lines. Perhaps because of a marketing-driven reluctance to scare off some potential customers, these differences were not elaborated on. .

A Linksys router came a few days later, along with the requisite cables. A series of downloadable manuals provided on the CallVantage support pages would have been a boon to me if I got stuck configuring my router. Sign-on was easy, and a few calls were completed without any problems.

CallVantage lets you use your analog fax machine. Just go to the Account Management & Settings screen, and turn on Fax and Modem Support. There's no additional charge for the service, which requires a D-Link DVG-1120M Adapter included in most CallVantage orders. Unfortunately, you will normally not be able to access your voice mail when Fax and Modem Support is enabled.

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