Vonage launches Wi-Fi phone

Vonage is this week launching a Wi-Fi phone that subscribers to its voice over IP service can use to make phone calls using wireless hot spots in public spaces.

Vonage is this week launching a Wi-Fi phone that subscribers to its voice over IP service can use to make phone calls using wireless hot spots in public spaces.

The company already allows users to turn their laptops into phones by downloading a software client, but the appearance of the special Wi-Fi phone will give users greater ease of use and more features.

The phone will facilitate three-way calling, caller ID and voice mail, and allow various ring options including silent and vibrate modes, and selectable ring tones.

The F1000 gives five hours of talk time and between 50 and 100 hours of standby time.

Costing around £50, the F1000 phone will allow users to make calls over 802.11-based public wireless networks, but not initially those which require users to pay for access, such as networks at airports, hotels, restaurants and coffee shops.

Vonage said that as deployments of free public access Wi-Fi networks across cities take off, the wider use of phones like the F1000 will be seen.

Such municipal wireless broadband networks are already being seen in the US, and Cisco recently launched a new range of outdoor Wi-Fi access points, wireless controllers and software to address the market.

Read more on Wireless networking

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