PC VoIP Services See Influx of Handsets

By Greg Scoblete On Jan 30 2006 - 8:00am




While Vonage and 8x8 battle for primary line replacement service, several manufacturers announced VoIP products at International CES designed to co-exist with an existing landline.

DalCom announced the DalFon retail package which bundles a USB handset and works over DalCom's SIP-based VoIP network on either a dial-up or broadband Internet connection. The handset retails for a suggested $99.99.

The company offers a mix of pay-as-you-go and monthly subscription plans including the Monthly Premium plan which offers United States, Canada and United Kingdom calling for .03 cents per minute for $19.99 per month.

Multi-Link introduced two Skype-certified VoIP products. The TeleVoIP Stick is a phone adapter which connects to both the PSTN and a PC. A built-in control switch automatically routes all emergency calls to the landline and will automatically switch to landline calling in the event of a power outage. It is shipping now for a suggested $134.99.

The TeleVoIP Phone ($34.99 suggested) is a corded handset that connects to a PC's sound card for calling over any PC-based VoIP service. The handset features a noise-canceling microphone, volume control and draws power directly from the sound card.

XACT Communication announced at International CES that it would target the VoIP phone market in conjunction with DECT product maker SunCorp.

The partnership will yield a number of DECT-based cordless handsets and videophones for use with Skype and other free, PC-based VoIP services.

The products are set to ship in April. Pricing was not announced.

The line will include up to 15 handsets and two videophones. All are capable of displaying Skype contacts on the handset and can call over landlines. Among the highlights: The Slide will offer built-in Bluetooth for cellular conversion. It features a 2-inch color display, four-handset expandability and 12 minute ITAD. It can display digital images and games.

The Domus will feature a 255 name/number directory, 30 minute ITAD, caller ID and support for five handsets. The Opal will offer a flip-phone handset with a 1.8-inch color display, five-handset expandability, 200 phone book entry memory, and the ability to display digital images.

XACT will also offer a corded and cordless videophone for landline/PC-VoIP and video functionality. Both offer a 262k pixel, 3.5-inch display with a full color VGA resolution camera. There is a choice of three display modes, a privacy shutter, 255 name/number phone book, and caller ID. The cordless videophone works on the DECT frequency.

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