By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
VoIP provider Vonage made several announcements this month aimed at broadening its penetration into the residential communications market.
The company added a new telephone adapter from Motorola, announced a professional installation service, debuted a marketing partnership with Hewlett Packard and provided an update on its Enhanced 911 roll-out.
The Motorola VT2142 telephone adapter will initially be sold through Vonage's online store for $49.99 with a $49.99 instant rebate. The adapter supports up to two Vonage lines and offers a built-in router for connecting a PC to the Internet.
The device will be offered in a retail starter kit in the future, Vonage said. Pricing and rebates of the retail product have not been determined.
For consumers befuddled over how to install the router or other Vonage devices, the company announced an installation service to its residential and small business customers in 39 cities through a partnership with Endeavor Telecom.
Vonage is the first “off the shelf” VoIP provider to offer professional installation.
Customers in the covered cities will pay $99.95 on up, depending on their service plan and devices. The cost includes professional testing and quality control services.
Vonage's installation will be performed by Atlanta-based Endeavor Telecom's staff of over 350 field engineers and over 9,000 independent and partner subcontractors in North America. The company provides private label support services to carriers, service providers and equipment manufacturers.
“We understand that some people just don't want the hassle, nor do they have the time to install Vonage themselves. For those customers who are intimidated by new technologies, professional installation makes the switch to Vonage easy by giving people a hassle-free way to get Vonage set up in your home or small office,” said Mike Snyder, Vonage CEO, in a statement announcing the new service.
To promote its VoIP service, Vonage inked a deal with HP. Consumers who purchase a Compaq or HP desktop or notebook will receive a special offer on Vonage's residential premium unlimited calling plan. The products will bundle either a pamphlet or interactive CD-ROM explaining the details of Vonage's VoIP service.
Finally, Vonage announced that 90 percent of its subscribers now have Enhanced 911 (E-911) service. E-911 calls transmit both the user's phone number and address during an emergency call.
The Federal Communications Commission ruled last year that all primary line replacement VoIP services must offer E-911 coverage to their subscribers.
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