Communications Briefs

By Staff On Sep 11 2006 - 6:00am

Circuit City Stocks EarthLink VoIP

ATLANTA — Internet service provider EarthLink announced today that Circuit City would carry two versions of its TrueVoice VoIP retail starter kit. EarthLink's service works with broadband Internet connections and will be available in two SKUs. One will feature a Linksys Phone Adapter the other, a Linksys Wireless-G Router with 2 phone ports. Users can also purchase EarthLink VoIP service at Circuit's Web site. The adapter will sell for $9 after a $50 mail-in rebate while the router will retail for $59.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. EarthLink offers several calling plans including an unlimited local and long distance plan for $24.95 a month. The service supports E911, voicemail, three-way calling and call forwarding.

8x8 Unveils New Calling Plan, Distributers

Santa Clara, Calif. — VoIP provider 8x8 announced a new annual calling plan last week, which it will promote with Uniden's cordless VoIP phone. The company's new Freedom Annual plan offers unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada and Packet8's calling features such as voicemail and find me/follow me for $199 a year. To promote the new plan, 8x8 will offer Uniden's Packet8-enabled UIP1868P 5.8 GHz digital multi handset cordless phone system free, after rebate. The UIP1868P is expandable up to ten cordless handsets. 8x8 also announced a new distribution partner, Fremont, Calif.-based ASI Corp to move its residential and small business services and hardware.

Vonage Bows D-Link Router

Holmdel, N.J.— Vonage broadened its portfolio of D-Link VoIP equipment earlier this month with the addition of a wireless router. The D-Link VWR is a wireless B/G router with two phone ports and programmed with Vonage's service. It features a built-in 4-port switch to connect wired Ethernet devices. It is the second D-Link product to be introduced since the two firms partnered up to provide VoIP enabled gear last year. Vonage will initially sell the device through its Web site for $59.99, after a $40 instant rebate. The VoIP provider also announced that it had reached the 2 million subscriber mark as of the beginning of September.

RTX Expands Distribution

San Jose, Calif. — Telephony equipment maker RTX announced new dealers for its Skype-certified DUALphone and its DUALjack wireless phone extender. MicroCenter will stock the DUALphone, which connects to both landlines and a PC for placing Skype calls. It retails for a suggested $139. New York retailer RCS Computer Experience will stock both the DUALphone and the $89.99 DUALjack wireless phone extender, which lets consumers add multiple phone and data products to a single jack through wireless extenders.

Uniden Gets DECTed Out

Fort Worth, Texas— Uniden announced that it had acquired a 20 percent stake in Hong Kong-based DECT phone maker SunCorp Technologies. According to a statement released by Uniden announcing the partnership, the two companies plan “to explore product development opportunities for cordless telephones and related communication devices … and expect to work cooperatively in the areas of manufacturing, sales, marketing, research and development, as well as in procurement.” The companies will also develop products that “focus on the natural synergies of DECT and cordless telephones with Bluetooth technology.” Uniden also said it would introduce a new line of DECT 6.0 products in the U.S. later this summer.

AOL Drops VoIP Service

Dulles, Va.— AOL announced last week that it will discontinue its residential VoIP service. The company's TotalTalk plan will be discontinued at the end of November. According to published reports, the service had signed up just 2,000 subscribers since its October 2005 launch. The company will continue to promote its Instant Messenger-based calling platform, AIM Phoneline, which gives AIM users a free, local phone number to receive unlimited incoming calls online and free online voicemail.

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