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Vonage VoIP hits RadioShack stores

The consumer electronics retailer is selling Net telephony packages in nearly 4,000 of its stores.

RadioShack has started selling Vonage's voice over Internet Protocol services in nearly 4,000 of its retail stores in the United States.

About 1,600 of the stores will offer demonstrations of the technology starting in July, the companies said Thursday. Those stores are located in areas that have a high number of DSL (digital subscriber line) customers.

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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services allow people to make and receive phone calls using a high-speed Internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. Telecommunications companies are already implementing VoIP as a way to cut costs on international and long-distance calls.

But while the service is gaining in popularity, RadioShack said consumers may still need some hand-holding before the technology becomes widespread.

"The low yet rapidly growing number of subscribers shows that broadband phone service is still in the early-adoption phase of the technology," Stu Asimus, RadioShack's chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. "VoIP is simply not quite ready for a self-service environment."

Vonage's monthly service plans start at $14.99. The plans include features such as caller identification, call waiting, voice mail, call forwarding and emergency calling.