Boy, what a flurry of announcments the past few days about VoIP providers partnering with retail outlets (BestBuy) or partnering with broadband router manufacturers (LinkSys, NetGear) to embed VoIP functionality in their routers. All of the aforementioned companies in parenenthesis have some sort of deal involving VoIP.
Well, add Fry's Electronics to the VoIP bandwagon!
Here's the news release:
8x8 ADDS FRY'S ELECTRONICS TO GROWING LIST OF PACKET8 RETAILERS
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 24, 2004 -- 8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT), the Packet8 broadband voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and videophone communications service provider, announced that beginning August 27th, Fry's Electronics, a leading electronics retailer serving the western U.S., will be offering the Packet8 Broadband Videophone and Packet8 Broadband Phone Adapter.
The 28 store chain, with locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Georgia and Texas, is considered one of the industry's premiere retailers of products representing the latest technological trends and advances in the personal computer marketplace. 8x8's Internet telephony service offerings consistently display feature and capability achievements on the cutting edge of communication technology, including the industry's first enhanced E911 calling capability and the technological sophistication of the new Packet8 DV326 videophone, introduced in June 2004.
The Packet8 Broadband Videophone transmits high quality audio and crisp instant-on video communications over a standard broadband Internet connection with the ease and convenience of regular telephone service. Previous videophone technology has been limited by bandwidth capabilities of the PSTN (public switched telephone network), which hampered the delivery of crisp real-time video images. Because it is based on SIP, an international Internet protocol standard, the Packet8 videophone achieves a level of technology and performance sophistication previously not possible.
The Packet8 Broadband Phone Adapter enables Internet users to enhance the functionality of their high speed connection with a telephone service that is affordable, as easy to use as a regular telephone, and bundled with many advanced features not included with traditional circuit-switched telephone services. Packet8 recently became the first VoIP residential telephone service to offer "real" E911 service, which automatically routes calls and computer-based "screen pops" of caller information to emergency personnel at local Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).
"We are very pleased that a respected retail chain like Fry's has acknowledged the strength and potential of our Packet8 offerings," said Huw Rees, 8x8 Vice President of Marketing & Sales. "Our voice products represent the industry's easiest to use and most affordable VoIP telephone service available, and our broadband videophone service opens up new ways of communicating and staying in touch with friends and family. Consumers that are thinking about trying VoIP and broadband communications can get 'hands-on' with Packet8 at all Fry's Electronics locations."