Telcos await Telecom's CLID launch

Telecom rivals BellSouth and Clear are ready to implement calling line identification when Telecom does.

Telcos Clear Communications and BellSouth are in the starting blocks waiting for implementation of Telecom’s calling line identification (CLID) offering, Caller Display.

Both carriers say they have similar services ready to go but as the bulk of the calls involve Telecom customers there is little point in launching them until Telecom does.

A television news report this week suggested that the service would now not be launched until early 1997, but Telecom says that isn’t necessarily so.

“We don’t have a firm time yet, but it’s fairly close,” says spokesperson Linda Sanders. “It could still be this year.” Telecom originally planned to go live in August, but a last-minute hitch stalled the process. The disabling function, accessed by dialling *67, also disabled other functions such as Call Minder, as well as in some cases preventing the identity of the caller from going into Telecom’s billing system.

“We’re doing a bit more testing before we go public,” she says. “And it will be quite a gradual introduction.”

BellSouth says it will consider a restricted CLID offering if necessary.

“We may make it selectively available at some stage if it’s looking like a longer delay [to Telecom’s offering],” says communications manager James Norman. “We’re pretty much ready to go--all our customers with current equipment have the ability to have number display.”

BellSouth callers have an “all or nothing” opt in or opt out, unlike Telecom’s, who can do so call by call.

Clear is in a similar situation. Intercarrier relations manager Tom Aldridge says the company already has the technology in place to run such a service.

“We’ve got the capacity on our networks already, but it’s not worth going with it until Telecom does.”

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