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New Vendors Hitting Retail VoIP Market

New York — Following the successful retail penetration of VoIP start-up Vonage, several VoIP equipment and service providers are angling for shelf space with competitive offerings.

Worldwide Telco announced that it is bringing its VoIP lineup of five “wIPphones” (for Worldwide IP Phone) to dealers this month.

The service plans, a mix or prepaid or pay-as-you-go, will be identical for all products and will offer call waiting, caller ID, call hunting, call forwarding, three-way calling and call return. wIPphone users can call each other free of charge.

The products include the WP25, a PC or soft phone, that comes with a headset and splitter for using external speakers. For a suggested $19.99 the WP25 works with both dial-up and broadband access and requires users to call through the PC using the specialized phone.

The WP50 features an ATA adapter and call router that connects a regular home phone and PC for VoIP calls using either a dial-up or broadband connection. It also requires the PC to be on for calls to be placed. It will retail for a suggested $29

The WP75 is a full-featured Internet telephone set with a built-in router, including a WAN port to connect to the Internet and a LAN port for a PC for broadband users to make calls without the computer being turned on, for a suggested $55.

The WP100 is also geared for broadband subscribers. It connects a regular phone or PBX analog line port to a modem and does not require a PC. Suggested retail: $39.

Eytan Dorfan, Worldwide Telco’s CEO, said the company is positioning its offer on the basis of inexpensive calling, not as a primary line replacement such as Vonage.

“We’re saying use the service to add another line to a home to control costs,” Dorfan said.

Boston-based Zoom Technologies announced that it will bring its ZoomTel VoIP product line with a complimentary Global Village VoIP phone service to retail this month.

The first product in the ZoomTel line will be the ADSL X5v, an ADSL modem with built-in VoIP capability. The X5v features a router, a gateway, an SPI and NAT firewall, a 4-port Ethernet switch and a USB port for a suggested $99.

The X5v’s comes with an adapter, branded TelePort, to connect to a cordless phone for making VoIP calls.

The company will ship just the adapter, the Z1, for cable modem owners in September. Retail price was not announced.

The Global Village calling plans offer free calling to other Global Village customers and both pay-as-you-go and flat-rate monthly billing plans.