By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Holmdel, N.J. — VoIP provider Vonage said last month it had signed a non-binding letter of intent for $215 million worth of private debt financing. The money, combined with Vonage's cash on hand, will be used to repay its existing debt obligations of $253 million, which can be put to the company in December.
Vonage said it expected that approximately two-thirds of the financing will be provided through a senior secured credit facility and one-third will be provided through issuance of convertible secured notes. The letter of intent is not a commitment, but merely a proposal "that will be used as a basis for financing," Vonage said. Vonage will announce its first-quarter earnings on May 8, when it expects to provide additional information on its refinancing efforts.
Santa Clara, Calif. — VoIP provider 8x8 said last week that OfficeMax will distribute its Packet8 Virtual Office business-phone system through the retailer's 900-plus stores nationwide.
The $129 Virtual Office will come with a month of free service plus a $39.99 monthly subscription for an unlimited extension. The solution provides PBX functionality through a hosted VoIP platform. It features an auto attendant, worldwide extension dialing, voicemail, conference bridge and ring groups.
While retaining its residential voice and video service, 8x8 has shifted its focus to its small-business solution. At the end of 2007, the company had reported more than 10,000 Virtual Office subscribers.
Palo Alto, Calif. — VoIP firm Ooma will discount the cost of its Hub network adapter, wrapping it into a new retail product bundle with its Scout handset extender for $249. The Hub alone had sold for $399.
After purchasing a Hub adapter (which connects with a regular phone through a broadband connection), Ooma customers can enjoy free unlimited calls in the United States with voicemail, caller ID, call blocking and online account management. Consumers can connect existing landlines through the Hub and retain that number as well. Doing so will route 911 calls over the landline network and provide phone service in the event of a power or network outage.
Consumers who purchased the $399 Hub will have access to the company's new suite of premier calling services free of charge. New customers can purchase premiere services — which include real-time message screening, one-touch send to voicemail, personal numbers with individual voicemail, and do not disturb — for $12.95/month or $99/year.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.