Lucent answers calls for 'net users

Lucent Technologies yesterday announced a suite of Internet call-management programs for service providers that ultimately will let dial-up Internet users answer incoming telephone calls while still logged on to the Internet.

At CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, Lucent announced Online Communications Center (OCC), a product that telecom providers and Internet service providers (ISPs) can use with Signaling System 7 (SS7) networks or as add-ons to network switches.

To be available in the second quarter, OCC will let providers give customers a range of options for answering and forwarding telephone calls received while connected to the Internet over phone lines.

OCC adds Voice over Internet protocol (IP) capabilities to Lucent's Internet Call Waiting service, letting users remain online while answering phone calls at their computer. OCC also offers call management features, letting users decide how to handle incoming calls before they are received.

Released last year, Internet Call Waiting notifies an online Internet user with a pop-up, on-screen message that there is an incoming call -- without disrupting the Internet connection. With the new OCC, users will also be able to:

-- Answer a call using a voice over IP service provided by their network operator, while maintaining the Internet session on the same line;-- Forward calls to another number;-- Play a pre-recorded message for the caller;-- Set up caller profiles to treat incoming calls according to priorities;-- Forward all calls by using a "Do Not Disturb" feature;-- Selectively screen or refuse certain calls;-- Sort or export incoming call records.

OCC pricing will depend upon configuration, Lucent said.

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