GTA will launch its new unlimited long- distance service on April 20.

The GTA Unlimited plan for residential clients will not be provided to business customers but GTA will provide long- distance services starting at a nickel a minute according to Robert G. Smith vice president of sales and marketing for GTA.

He said residential customers can take advantage of making unlimited calls to the U.S. mainland Alaska and Hawaii for a flat rate of up to $40 depending on the type of plan. GTA will be the first to combine the local line fee and long-distance flat-rate fee on one invoice charge. Highlighting the roll-out of the new service will be the bundled line of services.

“The bundled line will include a local line unlimited long-distance calls to the U.S. caller ID voice mail simultaneous ring with GTA wireless phones (meaning if you have a GTA wireless phone you can have it set up so that your home phone and wireless phone ring simultaneously) and inside wiring ” Smith said. “All in a single bill of $58.95 a month.”

GTA’s international long-distance rates per minute also included in the rollout will vary. Smith said long-distance charges will always vary largely because telephone companies charge for access from country to country. GTA’s international call rates will boast prices that will be competitive with other local long distance carriers’ rates he said.

Residential customers will still have the option of selecting their choice of other long distance providers or any of GTA’s plans.

Smith said GTA acquired an undersea cable to Los Angeles where its underlying primary carrier Qwest will provide some of the carriage for GTA’s long-distance service nationwide. Other purchases were for fiber optics capacity to North America installing various software and equipment and billing systems.

GTA is expecting crystal-clear connection with overseas calls. “Regarding testing we have been testing from our own homes and the parties have reported a clear reception almost as if it is like a local call ” Letitia Law Byerly corporate communications manager for GTA said. “And connections to international destinations have also been problem-free; there have been no busy circuits or any of those kinds of challenges.”

GTA will also be introducing an Internet product. Smith said GTA will start scheduling tests in the next couple of weeks and is expecting to roll out GTA’s Internet service at the end of the second quarter. The company is targeting the launch of digital TV at the end of 2005.

“Those are the big four local calls and long distance is one cable TV is another data services being third and wireless services being the fourth ” Smith said. “We intend to take those products and add new functionality and our ultimate goal is to make GTA the best telephone company bar none; we think we’ll absolutely be among the top providers by the end of the year.” MBJ