Nokia unveils VoIP phone

Nokia is cooperating with a leading provider of Internet-based phone services to enable cell phone users to make wireless calls without using precious minutes, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press rpeort said the world's largest mobile phone maker also announced new models at the International Consumer Electronics Show, and claimed a lead in the market for smart phones with 40 million units sold last year.

Nokia said its new N800 Internet Tablet will permit wireless phone connections through eBay's Skype service.

The model is available immediately in the US and selected European countries, and Nokia said the Skype features will be available for download by June.

Skype is among several Internet-based phone services that work by splitting voice conversations into data packets just like email and Web pages and sending them over the Internet, in this case using a wireless Wi-Fi connection. The packets are reassembled at the destination, the report said.

Although Wi-Fi telephones and walkie-talkie-like communicators long have been available for hospitals and offices, manufacturers and mobile carriers are just now starting to offer devices that offer both standard cellular calls and Internet calls, the report said.