Internet telephony provider Freshtel Holdings is set to expand its presence in Australia by signing an exclusive supply agreement with JB Hi-Fi.
The agreement gives JB Hi-Fi exclusive rights to sell Freshtel branded internet phone products throughout Australia in the consumer electronic space. The products will be sold in over 50 Australian stores, and JB Hi-Fi has provided a commitment towards the advertising and point of sale promotion of the product.
“We regard internet telephony as an exciting opportunity which fits perfectly with our philosophy to provide the best brands and specialist products at the lowest prices. Partnering with Freshtel will enable us to maximise this opportunity,” says Scott Browning, marketing director of JB Hi-Fi. 
“Freshtel’s high quality range of products and the success of the Tesco internet phone in the UK, which Freshtel brought to market, demonstrated that they have the ability and approach to help us make this agreement a great success.”
Rhonda O’Donnell, CEO of Freshtel says this agreement provides Freshtel with the ability to expand its local footprint with one of Australia’s most successful consumer electronic retailers and represents a new tier in the company’s unique wholesale business model.
“The JB Hi-Fi deal is what we regard as a joint venture partnership to market and sell the Freshtel branded internet phone solution through their stores, as opposed to a white label agreement where the partner would sell the product under their own brand.
“The beauty of this arrangement is that it allows Freshtel to focus on its core business of developing internet telephony solutions and capitalise on the brand and retail presence and marketing expertise of our partners to distribute the product. Our partners benefit from Freshtel’s technical expertise, having access to our superior range of easy-to-use internet telephony products and learning from our experience with global retailers,” she says.
As part of the agreement, Freshtel will establish a reseller portal to allow JB Hi-Fi to sell call plans and credit in-store, and provide customers with information relating to their Freshtel internet phone account.
“Operationally we are geared up to provide JB Hi-Fi with the support they need to give customers a great experience using the Freshtel Internet Phone,” says O’Donnell.
The Freshtel internet phone will be available in some JB Hi-Fi stores before Christmas, with a full roll-out to take place towards the end of the first quarter of 2008.