RealTime IT News

8X8 on VoIP: Seeing Is Believing

Amid escalating competition for residential VoIP customers, 8x8 is packaging its videophone with its Packet8 broadband telephony service.

The Packet8 standalone desktop phone began shipping this summer and uses a broadband connection (DSL or cable modem) to transmit audio and video. It costs $299 plus a $29.95 monthly fee for the service.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company will demonstrate the phone and its VoIP service at this week's DigitalLife trade show in New York.

"8X8 has always planned to have a mix in its offerings," Joan M. Citelli, a spokeswoman for the company, told internetnews.com.

Since the phone uses broadband and Session Internet Protocol (SIP) to initiate call set-up, routing and authentication, it overcomes the quality problems of previous attempts at videophones.

In addition to the videophone, 8X8 plans to demonstrate its VoIP broadband phone adapter at DigitalLife.

8X8's videophone enters the market at a time when service providers are working hard to attract new customers. Vonage and AT&T recently slashed monthly rates for VoIP service to $24.99 and $29.99, respectively.

8X8 offers residential plans as low as $19.95 per month for unlimited calling to the United States and Canada. Last month, the company raised $12 million in a private placement of its stock with an institutional investor. The proceeds will help fund product development and expansion.

As of last quarter, 8X8 has about 17,000 subscribers for its broadband telephony service, up about 50 percent from the previous quarter, Citelli said.