Friday, June 16, 2006

Breaking News: Packet8 Soon To Offer SofTalk

Current Sofphone (PC to PC/phone internet telephony) providers such as Skype et al can start shaking in their boots. Packet8 (8X8 Inc) will soon be entering the sofphone market with their own version called "SofTalk". Packet8 is already one of the world leaders in VoIP technology and services for business and residential use....and will now bring to bear their huge resources and infrastructure in the sofphone arena. Packet8 SofTalk will be especially attractive to laptop users....and will include both voice and video calling capabilities.

I suggest you watch developments closely and keep an eye out for the official launch at Packet8.

Packet8 SoftalK™ is a PC-based application that allows subscribers to make and receive voice and video phone calls directly from their personal computers without the need for a regular analog phone. All that is required is a desktop or laptop personal computer running Microsoft Windows with built-in or external speakers and microphones or a computer headset.

How Do You Get Packet8 Softalk™?

Packet8 Softalk™ will be available soon at Packet8.

When available, PC users will have the ability to download Packet8 Softalk™ to a laptop so that when traveling, subscribers can simply go online to make phone calls and get all the great benefits of Packet8 service. Packet8 Softalk™ will be available in two formats: Basic and Premium.

Packet8 Softalk™ Basic

Packet8 Softalk™ Basic will allow unlimited IP to IP ("in-network") voice and video calling between other "Softalkers" or to any Packet8 subscriber (including Packet8 VideoPhone users) free of charge. There is no activation or disconnect fee for this offering. This plan is ideal for current Packet8 subscribers or consumers interested in trying Packet8 Internet phone service.

Packet8 Softalk™ Premium

Packet8 Softalk™ Premium will offer the same toll free in-network calling as well as outbound calling to the PSTN (public switch telephone network) along with all the Packet8 advanced calling features like voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding and many more for $5.99 per month and a one-time activation fee of $9.99.

Premium Softalkers will get 500 minutes of outgoing and incoming minutes on calls throughout the US and Canada. Each additional minute will be billed at 1.9 cents, with outgoing international minutes billed at the current Packet8 international rates. There will be a disconnect fee of $9.99.

What You Need to Use Packet8 Softalk™

In addition to a PC or laptop, the equipment required to use Packet8 Softalk™ includes a headset and microphone or USB phone. For video use, a standard, off-the-shelf webcam is required to send images, though none is required to receive video images.

With their proven track record and industry reputation in IP Telephony....I expect the SofTalk service to add another success to the Packet8 list of accomplishments.

Background On Packet8

8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT), originator of the Packet8 Broadband Phone Service, is one of the industry’s leading VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and videophone communications service providers. Since its establishment in 1987, 8x8 has contributed to the advancement of voice and video communications on both technology and service provision levels. The company currently holds 49 United States patents with additional patents pending.

The Packet8 residential phone service, introduced in November 2002, incorporates 8x8’s proprietary technology in an affordable, easy-to-use calling service delivered over DSL, cable modem or other high speed internet connections. In March 2004, 8x8 introduced the Packet8 Virtual Office system, a full-featured hosted PBX VoIP solution for small to medium sized businesses. Two months later, the Packet8 DV 326 Broadband consumer VideoPhone was unveiled at Supercomm 2004 and has since received high marks for its exceptional quality, ease of use and consumer friendly pricing.

8x8 Has A Long History In Multimedia Communications Technology

Founded in 1987 as Integrated Information Technology (IIT), its initial products were programmable semiconductors for the videoconferencing and videophone markets as well as the accompanying software. The primary customer applications for these semiconductors were communication terminals (such as videophones, telephones or room videoconferencing systems) for the integrated services digital network (ISDN), the public switched telephone network (PSTN), and IP networks, such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and the Internet.

In 1997, 8x8 began developing videophones (under the ViaTV brand name) along with other broadband internet products and services for business and consumer use. The company initiated a public offering on July 2, 1997 on the NASDAQ national market under the ticker symbol EGHT.

Until recently, 8x8 was focused on its VoIP semiconductor business (through its subsidiary Netergy Microelectronics, Inc.) and hosted iPBx solutions business (through its subsidiary Centile, Inc.). In late 2003, 8x8 began to devote more of its resources to the promotion, distribution and development of the Packet8 voice and video communications service and soonafter announced the end of life of its VoIP semiconductor products. The Company continues to own the voice and video technology related to the semiconductor and IP PBX businesses and utilizes it in the Packet8 service offering.

Today, 8x8 offers the Packet8 broadband voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and video communications service, Packet8 Virtual Office service and videophone equipment and services. The Packet8 voice and video communications service (Packet8) enables broadband Internet users to add digital voice and video communications services to their high-speed Internet connection. The company shipped its first VoIP product in 1998, followed by the launch of the Packet8 service in November 2002, the Packet8 Virtual Office business service in March 2004 and the DV326 Videophone in June 2004.


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