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Wi-Fi phone sales rocketing

Antony Savvas

Global Wi-Fi phone sales topped $535m (£281m) last year, up 327% from 2005, said analyst Infonetics Research.

The big jump is down to new Wi-Fi phone services being launched by the likes of Skype, BT and Avaya, and new handsets being thrust on the market by Nokia, D-Link and others.

Wi-Fi handsets allow users to connect calls over a voice over IP network, allowing them to benefit from free or cheaper calls.

For the four-year period between 2007 and 2010, Wi-Fi handset sales are forecast to increase nearly 1,300%, said Infonetics Research.

Infonetics said the fastest growing segment in the market is in dual-mode Wi-Fi/cellular VoIP phones, which allow users to make calls over a VoIP network when in range, or a mobile network when not.

Richard Webb, an analyst at Infonetics Research, said, “More operators are transforming into integrated multimedia service providers, creating converged mobile, wireless Lan and VoIP solutions that support voice and data services across enterprise, public and home networks.”

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