AT&T this week announced its new Landline Texting service that allows businesses and government agencies to send and receive text messages using their landline or toll-free phone number.
AT&T said it’s the first major U.S. carrier to offer texting-enabled communication to and from a business landline.
Igor Glubochansky, AT&T’s executive director, advanced solutions, tells Channel Partners that texting trends continue to be on the rise for consumers and businesses, and that prior to AT&T Landline Texting, text enablement for landlines was not offered as an integrated service with a wireline carrier.
“We’ve been delivering landline services to companies since the invention of the telephone itself," he said. “And millions of businesses currently use a landline or toll-free number. We’re making it easier for them to use text messages and better communicate with their customers."
With the service, users can send or receive messages with a desktop computer, mobile device or tablet. The service does not require the use of a desk phone, Glubochansky said.
“AT&T Landline Texting can improve communications in many industries, especially for businesses with customer-facing roles, such as car dealerships, realty offices, staffing agencies and more," he said. “Enterprises can now send or receive text messages to the main number they’ve been using for years and their customers know. (The service) keeps the businesses’ text messages and contacts centralized rather than on the mobile handsets of an individual who may leave the company at any time."
Landline Texting currently is not available through any of AT&T’s reseller programs, but “we are exploring making it available in the future," Glubochansky said.
Zipwhip, a Seattle-based cloud texting carrier, has been offering a business landline and toll-free texting service in the United States and Canada since 2014. AT&T Landline Texting provides “validation that there is a consumer demand for business conversations via texting," said Ian Olson, Zipwhip’s marketing manager.
“Zipwhip has seen tremendous growth in the SMB market from insurance agencies to auto dealerships for scenarios including customer service, appointment reminders, and sales," he said.