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Vonage To Offer Wi-Fi Phone

Edison, N.J. — Internet telephony company Vonage will offer a Wi-Fi-enabled VoIP phone in the fourth quarter to capitalize on what Michael Tribolet, executive VP/operations, said is the growing adoption of wireless home networks.

The Wi-Fi VoIP phone will compliment Vonage’s current broadband phone offering, which connects a regular home phone to a multi-terminal adapter (MTA), which is in turn connected to a cable/DSL modem. While the current device can work with a cordless phone if the base station is connected to the MTA, Tribolet said the Wi-Fi phone will incorporate the adapter in the handset, giving consumers one less piece of equipment to install.

The company is evaluating handsets from “several” manufacturers with form factors ranging from “traditional cordless phone ” to a more exotic cellphone, Tribolet said.

While the phone will be able to work in any hot spot, Vonage envisions the initial usage as largely confined to the home, giving consumers another application for their Wi-Fi networks.

Pricing for the Wi-Fi handset has not been set, but the company will offer the same calling plan that it currently offers for its broadband phone, Tribolet said.

The Wi-Fi product will initially be available only through the Vonage Web site.