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Vonage, which launched its service in the UK yesterday, will also probably introduce voice over Wi-Fi in the UK this summer: The launch of the wireless service is likely to coincide with the launch in the United States. Vonage said at the Consumer Electronics Show that it would introduce a UTStarcom Wi-Fi phone configured to offer Vonage’s voice over IP service.
I’m dubious about how useful consumers will find voice over Wi-Fi. The phones will be convenient in the home as a cordless phone, but Vonage customers can already use their existing cordless phones, which undoubtedly cost less than the voice over Wi-Fi phone. Otherwise, hotspots are usually far enough apart, that the phone certainly wouldn’t be useful as a way to be reached when away from home. Users would have to seek out hotspots to make phone calls on it.
There is also the issue of users being required to subscribe to each hotspot the phone may connect to as well as how users will be authenticated, as Glenn Fleishman notes at partner blog Wi-Fi Networking News.
Posted by nancyg at January 7, 2005 12:09 PM
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