Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I think we should get this for my younger brother

...whom I've known to talk on two phones at once:
It may be something of a teenage nightmare: limits on when a wireless phone can make and receive calls and to whom, restrictions on text messages and talk time, and set allowances for ring tones and other downloads — all at a parent's fingertips. AT&T Inc., the nation&339;s largest wireless carrier, will launch a service Tuesday giving parents that kind of wide-ranging control on almost all of its 63.7 million subscriber lines.

"We were certainly hearing from parents who were dismayed at overuse of text or phones," said Carlton Hill, vice president of voice products for AT&T's wireless unit and the mother of two teenagers. "We want to find a way for kids to use phones without having to take the phone away."

Many parents want their children to have access to cell phones for safety reasons, but they don't want them making or receiving non-emergency calls during the school day, chatting away all the shared family-plan minutes or bloating the bill with text messaging charges, Hill said.


The functions, ranging from call blocking and hour limits to text message and download allowances, will be set through a Web site. Calls to or from a parent's number can be made to override the restrictions, and calls to 911 can be made anytime.

The AT&T service also allows filtering of Web sites parents don't want their children accessing from their phones, but that function will not work on Apple Inc.'s iPhone because of the browser, said AT&T spokesman Fletcher Cook.

The Web site filter will also be inoperable when a phone is using a Wi-Fi network because AT&T can only block content delivered over its wireless networks.

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