AT&T invests in Tellme Net services

AT&T will provide network backbone for Tellme’s service that allows consumers to access Internet services over the phone using spoken commands.

AT&T Corp. has invested $60 million for a minority stake in Tellme Networks Inc., an Internet telephony company.

AT&T (T) will provide network services for Tellme, and the two companies will collaborate on business and consumer applications based on Tellme’s platform.

Tellme’s service allows consumers to access Internet and Web services over the phone using spoken commands. The service currently being tested allows consumers to use voice activation to, for example, find restaurants, look up movie times and reviews, check stock portfolios, and get sports scores.

The AT&T network will automatically help localize information requests based on the location of originating calls. Tellme's service is expected to be generally available this summer.

Elsewhere, Lycos Inc. (lcos) is working with to launch a suite of services that will allow consumers to access Web content over the telephone. By calling a toll-free number, users will be able to hear their e-mail read to them and check stock prices, the weather and movie listings. The service is expected to launch in the third quarter.


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