AT&T and Monterey, Calif.-based Language Line Services on June 18 are rolling out a new mobile phone service for federal employees and business customers that allows users to instantly access interpreters for 170 languages.
The service, which will cost $9.99 a month plus $2.99 a minute, allows users to push *4 (representing the“I” — for interpreter — on the dial pad) and get a specialist on the line in seconds.
“We have had significant interest from a number of federal agencies, so we expect some strong, immediate uptake from the service,” said Chris Hill, vice president for AT&T’s Mobility Solutions.
Language Line Services is three decades old and already supports the interpretation needs of dozens of federal agencies — from Social Security to Homeland Security — using traditional dial-up service and 800 numbers. The telephone interpretation allows users to communicate with limited-English speakers on the phone or when they’re face to face.
Language Line has more than 5,000 interpreters — including over 1,000 interpreters cleared to handle the sensitive information of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Social Security.