As the competition for VOIP phone service heats up in the business arena, expect to see more and better features offered by VOIP providers. Keep in mind that there are “consumer” versions of VOIP telephony and “business” class versions, which provide more features that businesses need, such as the announcement below from 8×8.
8×8, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGHT) the Packet8 broadband voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and videophone communications service provider, announced it has added three new optional calling features to the Packet8 Virtual Office VoIP-hosted PBX service — Virtual Extensions, Metered Extensions and Toll Free Local Number Portability (LNP).
With the Virtual Extension feature, businesses can customize any number of specific extensions to function as information-only mailboxes for items such as driving directions, special promotional offers and other customer service announcements. While Virtual Extensions are not associated with a physical Virtual Office telephone, they can be forwarded to remote numbers anywhere in the world for 3.9 cents per minute in the U.S. and Canada plus applicable international rates when calling overseas. Virtual Extensions can be reached from the auto attendant, through direct inward dial (DID), and an extension call, and may be added to Virtual Office plans for $9.95 per extension per month plus a one-time activation fee of $19.95. Toll free numbers and virtual phone numbers can also be assigned to virtual extensions.
Metered Extensions enable larger companies to take advantage of Packet8’s powerful Virtual Office solution by scaling down monthly phone charges for low call volume users without sacrificing PBX functionality. Employees using Metered Extensions receive 250 minutes of calling to the US and Canada a month along with voicemail, a DID number, extension, auto attendant routing, switchboard viewing and inbound calls. Metered Extensions are priced at $19.95 per month plus 3.9 cents after the first 250 minutes, plus applicable international per minute and FET charges. A one time activation fee of $39.95 per extension applies.
Finally, businesses can now port existing toll free numbers over to their Virtual Office service for free and continue offering clients the ability to contact them at no charge regardless of their location inside the United States or the company’s location worldwide. Packet8’s Toll Free Service Plan includes 100 minutes of inbound toll-free calls for $4.95 then an industry low of 3.9 cents a minute thereafter. A one time $9.95 activation fee per Packet8 toll free number applies.
“8×8 is committed to making Virtual Office the most functional, flexible and cost-effective small business VoIP solution available,” said 8×8 Director of Marketing Dave Immethun. “We are prepared to not only respond quickly to customer requests for new features, but to stay ahead of the curve by inventing functions and applications that promote business efficiency and growth.”
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