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GE VoIP Phone In The Works

Equipment maker Thomson plans to offer a General Electric-branded VoIP phone and work with service provider SunRockets, which sells residential Internet phone service for a flat rate of $200 a

Manufacturer Thomson Inc. plans to offer a General Electric-branded phone that will support Internet telephony, an indication that the technology is entering the mainstream.

The GE licensee, among the largest makers and distributors of phones, has agreed to work with voice-over-Internet protocol service provider SunRockets, the latter company said Friday. SunRockets, a privately held Vienna, Va., company, sells residential Internet phone service for a flat rate of $200 a year.

The agreement also includes exploring promotional activities for SunRockets' VoIP services. Financials details were not disclosed.

In a joint statement with SunRockets, Thomson indicated that the future of telephony lies with Internet-based technology. "This is the beginning of an exciting time in residential telephony where more features that improve consumers' lives will be facilitated by the emergence of IP telephony," said Tom Bratton, VP of sales and marketing for Thomson.

Businesses and consumers are moving toward Internet telephony as a cheaper form of communications than conventional telephone service. In entering the market with GE, Indianapolis-based Thomson is pushing VoIP toward the mainstream by introducing one of the world's best known brands.

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