AT&T offers free directory assistance

Directory assistance fees always have been a cash cow for telcos, but now several upstart service providers, such as Free411, are offering free directory assistance calls. AT&T announced today that it's doing the same.

But, the revenue gained from directory assistance won't be disappearing. Directory assistance, like so many other services, is moving to an ad-supported business model. Customers won't be charged for their information-seeking calls, but they will be required to endure audio advertising before getting the 411 on desired phone numbers. Market research firm The Kelsey Group says ad-based directory assistance will reap $462 million in revenue by 2012.

For more on 411:
- read the announcement on AT&T's offering
- and this release on The Kelsey Group research

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