TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Netgear to Offer First Wi-Fi Phone For Skype Calling

Netgear to Offer First Wi-Fi Phone For Skype Calling

Reuters News Wire (
Thu, 5 Jan 2006 12:28:55 -0600

Netgear Inc. and Skype, the Web-based calling company which is a unit
of eBay Inc. said on Wednesday they plan to introduce the first
wireless mobile telephone for Skype.

The Netgear Wi-Fi phone is designed to work wherever a consumer is
connected to a wireless Internet access point -- at home, in an
office, cafe, public hotspot, or in cities where wireless access may
be available citywide, the companies said.

By contrast, existing Skype phones, including cordless models, must be
connected to a computer.

A variety of telephone makers including Cisco's Linksys, are seeking
to cash in on the Web-based calling craze popularized by Skype, first
in Europe and Asia, and increasingly in the United States.

Users can make free domestic and international calls and hold
conference calls with other Skype users. Calls to regular phones incur
a small fee.

"Customers can now call anyone on Skype, anywhere in the world for
free without using a PC anytime they are connected to Wi-Fi," said
Patrick Lo, Netgear's chairman and chief executive in a statement
issued ahead of a press conference at the Consumers Electronics Show
underway in Las Vegas this week.

An October report from Jupiter Research predicted that 20.4 million
U.S. households will subscribe to some form of Internet-based
broadband phone service by 2010.

The Netgear phone is pre-loaded with Skype's software. The user simply
needs to turn on the phone and enter a username and password. The
software pulls up the user's full contact list of Skype contacts to
whom free calls can be made.

More information on Netgear's Skype Wi-Fi phone, including pricing and
availability, is planned for the first quarter of 2006, the companies

In addition to the Skype Wi-Fi phone, Netgear and Skype said Netgear's
RangeMax wireless network router will be optimized to work with Skype.

RangeMax is designed to avoid interference from neighboring wireless
networks and to eliminate "dead spots" that can prevent consistent
connections around a house.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily. And, discuss this and other topics in our forum at (or)

For more Reuters News Headlines, please go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Leslie Walker: "Marketing Mayhem at Consumer Electronics Show"
Go to Previous message: "Re: Payphone Surcharges (was: Unanswered Cellphones)"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page