SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT), the Packet8 broadband VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and videophone communications service provider today announced the release of Packet8 Softalk™, a video-enabled SIP softphone for use with Packet8 voice and video Internet phone services.
With Packet8 Softalk, subscribers can make and receive voice and video phone calls directly from their personal computers. Along with traditional landlines and cell phones, Softalk users can also call Packet8 VideoPhone subscribers to enjoy high quality video communications when traveling without needing to carry along a separate device.
"The Softalk service gives Packet8 VideoPhone subscribers the option of purchasing either one or two videophones to make and receive Packet8 video calls," said Huw Rees, 8x8 Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "This means that instead of a $400 investment in two standalone videophones, subscribers can now enjoy two way voice and video calls using their PC on one end and a Packet8 VideoPhone on the other."
Unlike competitive platforms currently on the market that focus on peer- to-peer connections, Packet8 Softalk supports FCC-mandated E911 nomadic calling, now required as a standard feature of all VoIP services interconnected with the PSTN (public switch telephone network). Additionally, 8x8 has incorporated advanced NAT traversal technologies and standards in the Packet8 Softalk offering, including IETF standard and draft ICE with STUN and TURN, to enable use of the service behind symmetric and asymmetric NATs.
The Packet8 Softalk softphone provides an easy-to-use graphical key pad as the main user interface, allowing for quick access to both basic and advanced calling features including:
Packet8 Softalk is available in two plans, Basic and Premium. Softalk Basic allows unlimited Packet8 to Packet8 IP voice and video calling between Softalk users and other Packet8 subscribers free of charge. There is no activation, disconnect or monthly service fee for the Basic plan. Softalk Premium offers the same toll free in-network calling as Softalk Basic, as well as outbound calling to the PSTN, along with all the Packet8 advanced calling features including voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding and many more for $5.99 per month and a one-time activation fee of $9.99. Softalk Premium users receive 500 minutes of outgoing and incoming minutes on calls throughout the US and Canada.
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, digital camera or off-the-shelf webcam is required to send video and images, though none is required to receive video images. With a small footprint installer, SIP based Packet8 Softalk runs on Windows operating systems based personal computers (PCs). Packet8 Softalk uses advanced audio and video compression algorithms.