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Linksys Unveils VoIP Strategy

Linksys jumped with both feet into the voice over IP (VoIP) market today, announcing deals with Verizon, Best Buy and Intel.

Linksys, a maker of home networking gear, will sell through Verizon its phone adapter with two phone ports that will work with Verizon’s new VoiceWing VoIP service. Verizon customers would plug their DSL or cable modem into the adapter and be up and running with VoIP service.

VoiceWing will cost Verizon DSL customers $29.95 per month during a special six-month offer, plus the price of whatever networking equipment is needed. Non-Verizon customers will pay $34.95 per month, which will be the final price after the special offer expires.

The arrangement with Best Buy has the retailer installing an Interactive Home Networking Zone in 550 stores by the end of 2004. This demonstration area will give sales associates the chance to show off home networking technology, the Linksys Wireless B Music System and VoIP.

The Intel deal has Linksys rolling out the Easy Toolkit. This software suite is intended to simplify the setup of a home wireless network. The Toolkit, which will be bundled with the Linksys Wireless G Router, includes the Intel Smart Wireless Solutions diagnostic tool for solving problems during setup.

Another new Linksys product is the Wireless G video camera, estimated street price $199. It can be used to remotely monitor a home via the Internet.