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Internet Based Phone Service...From Verizon Wireless

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Internet based phone service from Verizon Wireless. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Verizon...which recently decided to jettison its VoiceWing Internet phone service....is now offering a new voice over IP plan through Verizon Wireless. And it comes complete with a cordless phone and touch screen base called the Verizon Hub. John Broten, director of product management...says it is linked to the mobile phones in the family as well. What can the Hub do?

"Obviously it can make telephone calls. It brings text messaging and picture messaging to the home phone. And a number of widgets that you can see here, the time, the weather. Some of the convenient things, the call management features, this just happens to be the home screen which enables you to see any missed calls that might have come through. The voice mail, on this screen, you have visual voice mail where you can activate it here, it will load that and begin playing it."

Can customers transfer their existing home numbers to this?

"Yes they can. They can port the number subject to coverage for that home number. But we expect that the vast majority of people that choose to port their number will be able to do so."

The Hub...with a contract...costs 199 dollars...and the monthly phone service costs about 35 dollars. While the Hub itself...and its cool features are a big selling point...and you can purchase additional handsets....one downside is...there is no way to plug in other phones you may have as you can do with many other voice over IP services. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.