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Internet alert call manager IACM4000™ press release

You need never miss an important call whilst using the Internet with the Internet Alert Call Manager™ IACM 4000™.

The unit, similar in size to a small answer machine, connects between your phone socket and computer modem, alerts you to incoming calls with both a flashing light and a bleeping sound and at the same time displays the caller's details ( name & number ) on the unit's LCD screen.

The IACM 4000™ allows you to surf the Internet without the worry of missing calls, but perhaps most importantly, without having to purchase a second dedicated Internet line connection and all this for an anticipated retail price of just £39.95 inc. VAT.

Under normal circumstances, with only one line connection, if someone tries to call whilst you are surfing on the Internet your line would give an engaged tone or the Call Waiting message.

With the IACM 4000™, the Call Waiting tone sent by BT or Cable is detected and the user is alerted to the presence of an incoming call. Not only are you alerted to the call, but you can also choose how you wish to react having seen the caller's details on the display. You can, if you wish, answer the call by picking up the handset, at which point the IACM 4000™ will automatically terminate your modem connection to the Internet. When you have completed your call you can reconnect to the Internet. Alternatively, you may choose to ignore the call and carry on surfing. Once you terminate your Internet connection, by scrolling through the previous calls received and by simply pressing the dial back key, the unit will dial back the number displayed.

The IACM 4000™ stores and displays up to 80 caller's details (name,number,date and time) and has a phonebook directory of up to 40 names and numbers ( 20 digits, 15 characters ). The unit requires the user to subscribe to both Call Waiting and Caller Display services which together cost just £5.50 per quarter from BT. Cable companies charge similar amounts.

The IACM 4000™ saves not only on the purchase of a second line connection charged at £49.50 from BT, but also on line rentals of approximately £11.99 per month. Over the first 12-month period, the IACM 4000™ would save a BT subscriber £131.88. This saving is based on the difference between purchasing a second line connection with 12 months line rental and purchasing the IACM 4000™ with 12 months subscription to Call Waiting and Caller Display service (£193.38 compared to £61.50).

During July 2001 Netvalue research reported that 37% of UK homes were connected to the Internet and at least 14 million people were using the Internet at home. "Over the last 12 months the number of new home connections has continued to grow ( up from 24% of homes as reported by OFTEL Aug 2000 ) and the average time spent on-line has increased.

Consequently, more calls have been missed due to engaged lines - many households suffer from at least one family member monopolising the telephone line for long periods !" says Comtech's Steve Davies. "Even though some users will use ISDN and the new ADSL service from BT, by far the vast majority will use inexpensive dial-up telephone services - sharing the same line with their phones. Also it would appear software versions of Internet Call Waiting have proved unpopular here in the UK due to the high costs of retrieving calls from the message service.

New V92 Call Waiting modems are still unable to deliver the caller's information as the UK ISPs have no incentive to invest the vast sums necessary to upgrade their infrastructure. Consequently we believe that IACM 4000™ with its display feature will be even more popular than its predecessor the Internet Alert 510 and of interest to a very wide customer base." The unit will be available in the high street during early November 2001.