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Vonage To Offer Videophone Service In ’05

No sooner has VoIP begun to tap into the residential telecommunications market than one of its more prominent marketers, Vonage, will up the ante with a video service in the first quarter of next year.

Vonage said it will offer a VoIP videophone through a partnership with videophone manufacturer Viseon in the first quarter 2005.

Viseon will provide Vonage with the new VisiFone II broadband videophone which Vonage plans to sell both online and through its retail network. The phone will be demonstrated at CES, where more details will be available.

VisiFone II will build off the existing VisiFone, which features a corded phone with a built-in CCD camera and a 5.6-inch screen. It is SIP compliant and offers 30 fps video using the H.323 standard. The next generation VisiFone II will work on the H.264 compression standard making it interoperable with third party videophones that are compliant with either H.264 or H.263.

Viseon has been marketing the existing VisiFone to cable operators as a way to spur broadband adoption. It is currently being tested by the top ten broadband carriers and trialed by Time Warner SO-HO customers in Ohio, a Viseon spokesman said.

According to Vonage, the product and new calling plan is still in development but it noted that it was intending to target its core subscriber base of residential consumers with a price that is “affordable for those who desire it.”