MagicJack using GSM femtocell technology for VoIP
MagicJack, the company behind the Internet calling device that works with analog desk phones, introduced a new gadget that essentially acts as a GSM femtocell that bypasses carriers, letting users make VoIP calls with their mobile phones.
Parent company YMax demonstrated the device at the Consumer Electronics Show, and said it would be begin selling it in around four months for $40. Users will get a year of free calls to the U.S. and Canada. YMax CEO Dan Borislow had hinted to FierceVoIP in June that the company would be producing such a femtocell device.
The new device--which works with all GSM phones--plugs into a PC so that it can access a broadband connection. Once it detects a cell phone in range (magicJack said the device will cover a 3,000-square-foot home), it calls the phone, and users enter a shortcode to link the phone to the magicJack device. Users will then be able to make VoIP calls from their phones while connected. The company said its device is legal, arguing the spectrum licenses of GSM carriers such as AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA do not extend into the home.
Representatives from AT&T and T-Mobile did not immediately respond to requests for comment.