Monday, May 02, 2005

8x8 Ramps Production And Reports Increased Consumer Demand For $99 Packet8 Videophone

I really like these guys (in case you couldn't tell). Now Packet8 has made the $99 equipment price on DV326 consumer VideoPhone permanent. Cool. Here's the meaty parts of the press release from Telephony World so you don't miss a thing......

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – April 29, 2005 -- 8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT), provider of Packet8 broadband voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and videophone communications services, announced it will retain the $99 Packet8 VideoPhone pricing model originally constructed as a promotional incentive to stimulate consumer demand for its Packet8 video services.

Due to favorable consumer response to what was initially a "while supplies last" offer, 8x8 has ramped up production of the broadband Packet8 DV326 VideoPhone and expects to continue to offer the $99 per phone purchase price and accompanying $19.95 per month, two-year service plan model unveiled earlier this month.

"As we expected, once we minimized the upfront equipment investment associated with owning a videophone, consumer demand increased as subscribers saw a more affordable opportunity to bring one into their homes," said Huw Rees, Vice President of Marketing & Sales at 8x8. "So far, the results have been positive and indicate that spreading the financial commitment over a two year service period is a palatable option for the consumer. We believe that consumers who are buying VoIP services that do not include video are investing in soon-to-be-obsolete technologies and services. Just as we see in the mobile phone market, consumers are beginning to expect video to be part of their communication services portfolio," concluded Mr. Rees.

The pricing model adopted for the VideoPhone service mirrors that which cell phone providers have been employing successfully for some time for advanced endpoint devices. The revenue generated by monthly subscriber fees over a two year period, combined with advantageous pricing resulting from 8x8's embedded technologies and its hardware vendor relationships, constitutes what 8x8 expects to be a formula for success.

Available direct to consumers at www.packet8.net, the $99 Packet8 VideoPhone is being sold with a two year service plan, which includes unlimited voice and video calls worldwide to another Packet8 VideoPhone as well as unlimited local and long distance voice-only calls to any phone number in the U.S. or Canada. The $19.95 per month, 24-month service plan carries an early termination fee of $299. All existing Packet8 VideoPhone service subscribers will also see a decrease in their base monthly service fees to $19.95 per month beginning with their May 1 billing statement.

About 8x8, Inc.
VoIP (voice over internet protocol) service provider 8x8, Inc. offers internet-based telephony solutions for individual residential and business users as well as small to medium sized business organizations. In addition to regular Packet8 VoIP service plans, priced as low as $19.95 per month for unlimited anytime calling to the U.S. and Canada, 8x8 now offers the $99 Packet8 DV326 VideoPhone, the industry's first stand alone broadband consumer videophone with worldwide video calling for $19.95 per month. Packet8 Virtual Office, 8x8's VoIP system for small to medium sized businesses, is a hosted PBX solution comprised of powerful business class features. For additional company information, visit 8x8's web site.

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