Nuance Speech-to-Text Technology Powering AT&T Voicemail to Text Service: Is it Worth $10 Per Month?

AT&T Wireless has an interesting set of problems. First, AT&T is in danger of losing its exclusive U.S. iPhone sales in mid-2010. Its second problem comes from services like Google Voice and Ribbit Mobile (Ribbit is owned by British Telecom) which bring voice mail service into the 21st century. Google Voice is essentially free. Ribbit will have a tiered pricing scheme starting with a free basic service, $10/month plus service and $30/month pro service. These prices may change though. So, what is AT&T to do to retain customers going forward? Well, AT&T announced this $9.99 per month service…

AT&T Voicemail to Text

It provides voicemail to text transcription service as well as voicemail forwarding via email. Voicemail messages can also be saved to your computer. In other words, it charges $10 per month for what Google Voice provides for free. Ribbit, on the other hand, currently is planning a similarly priced service. I suspect this will change when they launch their commercial service next year.

AT&T’s service does have one selling point though. Its voicemail to text transcription is powered by technology from Nuance Communciations: [Nuance] Voicemail to Text platform is powering the recently launched AT&T Voicemail to Text service. The service converts English and Spanish language wireless voicemail messages to text and delivers them via SMS, email or both, providing convenience and flexibility in how subscribers access, file and reply to mobile voicemail. And, who is Nuance? Ever heard of Dragon Naturally Speaking? They own it. So, they know a little something about accurate speech recognition. But, is this worth $10 per month?