Netgear announced it is unveiling a cordless phone for Skype that enables calls over any WiFi connection without the need to connect to a computer. Netgear's Skype phone is designed to work wherever a customer is connected to a wireless access point at home, in an office, café, public hotspot or muni-WiFi network. And the Skype pricing plans remain the same. Users will be able to make free domestic and international calls, as well as host conference calls and chat with other Skype users. Calls to non-Skype users will incur a small fee. We're starting to see a host of WiFi handsets offering better functionality, but dual-mode cellular/WiFi handsets will be the key driver to mass consumer adoption of VoIP, analysts say.
As I mentioned yesterday, the market has been moving slowly because of the politics surrounding some operators' trepidation in offering them for fear of losing revenues when customers roam off their networks. For now, at least in the U.S., if you want a phone with WiFi VoIP capability, you'll have to settle for one that doesn't access the mobile network as well.
For more about Netgear's Skype phone:
- read Netgear's press release