Lucent Technologies has introduced an application that enables subscribers on both mobile and wireline networks to select recorded music or other personalized audio content to play to incoming callers while they are waiting on the line for their call to be answered. Telecom New Zealand is now offering a service based on Lucent's MiRingBack application. In New Zealand the service is known as "Caller Tunes."
Unlike commonly available downloadable ring tones, MiRingBack plays a tune or message for the calling party. Callers to the user's phone hear the selected content until the call is answered. The service allows subscribers to customize their ringback tones with a variety of options, such as music clips, sound effects, personalized messages and advertisements. MiRingBack not only delivers entertainment services to the consumer market, but also benefits corporate customers by enabling them to use their basic communication device as a branding opportunity.
Each MiRingBack subscriber can create a variety of profiles for calling parties and may assign different tones to different calling parties. The service also offers a variety of call-control capabilities to subscribers, including the ability to select personalized time-of-day and special day messages, such as birthdays, and to define callers individually or callers belonging to groups. In New Zealand, the service will begin with one tune but others may be added over time.
In contrast with downloadable ringtones, which are stored on a user's handset, ringback tones reside on the network, allowing both mobile and wireline carriers to offer the service.