Cingular Wireless (Atlanta, GA) and its parent companies SBC Communications Inc. (San Antonio, TX) and BellSouth Corp. (Atlanta, GA) have launched a device that combines the convenience of wireless service with the value of a wireline phone. The patented FastForward device, which works exclusively with Cingular Wireless service, will be available beginning October 1, 2003.
The FastForward device, designed as a cradle to hold a wireless phone, simply plugs into an electrical outlet. When the Cingular Wireless phone is cradled, calls to the wireless phone are forwarded to a designated landline phone, while the wireless phone's battery is automatically re-charged. Cingular customers with a FastForward device can get unlimited incoming wireless calls (minutes) forwarded to their landline phone in the local calling area, without the minutes counting against their monthly wireless calling plan for $2.99 per month plus the cost of the device. The service is free to SBC residential local phone company customers who receive a single bill for Cingular wireless and landline services, and BellSouth customers who sign up for a combined bill and two other features.
For Cingular, SBC and BellSouth, the introduction of the FastForward device is part of a larger initiative to create a new category of products that simplify the calling process and change how people communicate. By integrating wireless and wireline services and networks, the companies are delivering differentiating offerings that will help SBC and BellSouth acquire and retain customers, while at the same time helping Cingular grow its subscriber base.