YOU ARE AT:Archived ArticlesPAGENET TRIALS A VARIETY OF PRICING PACKAGES IN DALLAS MARKET

PAGENET TRIALS A VARIETY OF PRICING PACKAGES IN DALLAS MARKET

Paging Network Inc. has lowered its already-low prices for VoiceNow voice paging service in Dallas and is testing “a variety of pricing alternatives,” said the company.

Separately, the company announced it plans to launch VoiceNow service in Northern California and Nevada on April 14. To date, service is up in Dallas only.

“Our goal in our earliest markets is to continue to learn what pricing packages attract high volumes of customers in a variety of market segments,” commented Glenn Marschel, president and chief executive officer.

Three local packages are being offered for $10, $15 and $20 per month, which include lease of the pager and 50, 100 and 200 messages, respectively. VoiceNow’s initial price packages did not include the pager and were priced at $5, $9 and $17 for local service. These included 15, 35 and 75 messages, respectively and leasing the pager cost an extra $10 per month.

As such, users are saving about $5 per plan and gaining two to three times the number of messages. Nationwide service costs $1 on top of any package price.

Spokeswoman Jenny Haynes reiterated that current pricing in Dallas and pricing in its next few markets is trial-based, as the company tries to identify the best approach for different market segments. Both PageNet’s research and independent research about voice paging has indicated demand is split between personal and business users.

In PageNet’s promotional material, the only mention of price is, “pricing as low as $4.95,” which is just for the service on the lowest use plan, said Haynes.

“After using PageNet’s VoiceNow service for an entire day in Dallas, in which we received over 60 messages, we were impressed by the system performance, its utility value, and user friendliness,” stated New York-based Prudential Securities Inc.’s telecommunications group in a Feb. 25 report. “Pricing is aggressive vis a vis alphanumeric services,” said Prudential, but VoiceNow functionally does not serve as a complete substitute for alphanumeric or numeric services. “VoiceNow will begin to create whole new categories of messaging users, particularly those accustomed to voice-mail platforms and services.”

PageNet’s Northern California markets will include San Jose, Oakland, San Mateo, Modesto, Stockton and Sacramento, Calif., and Reno and Tahoe, Nev. The company said it has almost completed site implementation in San Francisco and is waiting for final authorization to activate services there.

VoiceNow service is expected to start in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta by the end of May, said PageNet.

Marschel said the initial response in Dallas to VoiceNow service is in line with the PageNet’s expectations and that the VoiceNow advertising campaign, launched March 17, has generated positive results.

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