By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
ATLANTA — Panasonic has developed a multihandset cordless-phone system that delivers four voice lines and broadband Internet access through a home's existing connection to the local phone network.
The Broadband Telephone, designed for plug-and-play installation by consumers, will be marketed to local phone and data service providers that will bundle the hardware with their DSL service. The technology should be available to consumers, through service providers, by the end of the year, the company said. Panasonic didn't say which providers would carry the phone, but because some local phone companies market their services through select retailers, the system could end up in retail outlets.
Pricing wasn't announced.
The system's voice-over-DSL technology was developed by Jetstream Communications, which joined Panasonic in introducing the product here at the Supercomm 2001 conference.
"Service providers are clamoring to leverage emerging broadband networks to deliver a complete suite of communications applications," said Jetstream president S. "Sundi" Sundaresh. "Voice-over-broadband is the most cost-effective delivery mechanism to bring bundled voice and data services to consumers and small businesses."
Consumers can add cordless handsets in any room of the house without additional wiring. Other features include one-button access to any phone line on the included cordless handset, integrated speakerphone, support for up to four phone lines and eight handsets, integrated ADSL modem, data router, and 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports for high-speed connection to multiple PCs.
The system also supports all phone-network features such as caller-ID and call-waiting ID.
Service offerings can include up to four individual voice mail boxes, bundled local toll calling and long distance, shared high-speed Internet access via an Ethernet home network, call forwarding from an office number, call transfer and conferencing, and high-speed Internet access with VPN support for remote access.
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