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WiFi VOIP Phone From Vonage

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, December 29, 2005

Taking your voice over IP phone with you. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Vonage….one of the companies that has pioneered Internet phone service is out with its first WiFi phone. And if you have a wireless network at home, at the office or at school, the concept is enticing. Executive VP Louis Holder…

"It's a little handheld device. It looks like a cell phone. And it uses wireless connectivity to connect to the Internet. And you put it into the pocket and it can travel wherever you go and wherever there's a wireless connection you can use your Vonage service."

The WiFi phone is selling for 80 dollars after a rebate. Service plans start at 15 dollars a month. The 25 dollar Vonage premium plan includes unlimited calls anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. What you can't do if you opt for the WiFi phone….is connect your voice over IP service to a regular telephone or a cordless phone system in the house. But if you carry the WiFi unit with you….that may not be an issue….

"Some of our existing customers will buy it as an add on line and when they travel use that phone. Some people would use it as their only phone. On a college campus for example, if the college has WiFi, so they'd use that phone. Or maybe small businesses or on a factory floor where there's WiFi, they could give employees the WiFi phone."

The coverage is certainly more limited than what you have with your cell phone. But the flat rate unlimited calling…and now the portability make it attractive. Vonage does have competition. Zyxel sells a WiFi phone that can be configured to a variety of services. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.