Fountain Valley, Calif. — Internet telephony’s Sherman-esque march to retail continued today with the announcement that VoIP service provider Primus Telecommunications partnered with network hardware vendor D-Link to offer a retail VoIP kit.
Primus’ Lingo VoIP telephone service will be bundled with the new D-Link broadband phone service VoIP router (DVG-1402S/L), which incorporates a broadband VoIP telephone adapter with two phone ports, a home router and firewall.
The package initially will be available at Fry's Electronics for a suggested retail price of $99.99. A Primus spokesperson indicated the company was seeking broader retail distribution.
Consumers can sign up for Lingo online, where they can choose from a variety of plans including an Unlimited Plan for $19.95 that offers unlimited calling in the United States to Canada and Western Europe. The company also offers an Unlimited Asia plan for unlimited calling in the United States, Canada, and Asia, including calls to China, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Additionally, Lingo calling plans feature caller ID, call waiting, anonymous call blocking, directory assistance, call forwarding, three-way conferencing, free Lingo-to-Lingo calls, voicemail and online account management including access to voicemail through an Internet browser.
The D-Link broadband phone service VoIP router connects up to two ordinary home phones to broadband modems while also networking up to four PCs. The unit offers firewall protection and a CPU to support MAC address authentication, Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) and Content Filtering.
According to Primus, the hardware relationship with D-Link is not exclusive.
Primus’ Lingo residential VoIP service was introduced in June and is available in 46 states with virtual numbers in 12 countries.
According to D-Link president, Steven Joe, the VoIP market is the tip of an interconnected IP iceberg that will blend voice, data and video.
“VoIP will be a big driver in the IP market as good way to make inexpensive calls overseas,” Joe said. D-Link is also providing equipment for AT&T’s retail CallVantage service and Joe noted that “big players” are poised to take over the VoIP market.
“They won’t let go,” of the voice communications market, Joe said.
As for the future of IP telephony, Joe pointed toward wireless voice and video throughout a home once the time is right.
“People are just getting used to IP telephony,” Joe said.