Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Vonage Phones in Hot WiFi Plans (washingtonpost.com)

Vonage Phones in Hot WiFi Plans (washingtonpost.com): "The New Jersey-based Vonage yesterday said it will offer its customers a portable WiFi phone 'that can make calls over the Internet at homes or at public WiFi hot spots. For Vonage subscribers, the phone could amount to a kind of limited-use cell phone that would cost nothing extra. Several smaller companies have introduced Wi-Fi phones in the USA at prices ranging from $130 to $750. But Vonage's move would mark the first mass-market rollout of the device at a lower price, probably around $100,' USA Today reported in advance on Monday. Vonage is touting its new product and other services at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas."

Pretty cool... I'm still a happy Vonage customer -- indeed, I'm about to switch to a more basic cell phone service plan since I now use Vonage so extensively, and since it works much better than my wireless service provider. (I had been using a $100/month unlimited wireless + US long distance plan from AT&T Wireless as my primary office line, but Vonage is unlimited US + Canada, works better, and costs a lot less...). I like almost everything about Vonage -- except their recent "People do stupid things" ads which are really stupid, imho...

In any case, the increasing virtualization of telephony continues -- I don't want a fixed relationship between my telephony identifier and a place, set of devices, or network service type; I want to be able to pick and choose as I see fit. E.g., I suspect Vonage will eventually add SIP identity support as well as traditional phone numbers, and I hope it will let me dynamically associate devices with identifiers..
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