Skype, Netgear collaborate on Wi-Fi phone

At last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Skype and Netgear announced they are working on a family of products, including the world's first Skype wireless mobile telephone and a router equipped to optimize Skype.

Netgear's Skype Wi-Fi phone will work when connected to a wireless Internet access point. Skype users can make free domestic and international calls, as well as host conference calls and chat, with other Skype users anywhere in the world, and can connect to non-Skype users with SkypeOut for off-net calls for a fee. With this device, headphones or USB phones plugged into a laptop or PC are not required.

According to the companies, "The Netgear phone is pre-loaded with Skype's software, ready out-of-the-box to use with a wireless network. All a user needs to do after turning on the phone is enter a Skype username and password. The Skype software pulls up the user's full contact list, displays the connection status on the phone screen, and allows the consumer to connect to any other Skype user for free.

Netgear also announced that its RangeMax wireless router would be equipped to optimize Skype calls in a Wi-Fi environment.

In a prepared statement, Patrick Lo, Netgear's chairman and CEO said, "We're extremely proud to deliver the world's first mobile phone enabling customers to enjoy all the benefits of Skype. Moreover, Skype integration with our RangeMax wireless router will further extend our leadership in innovative networking devices."

More information on the phone, including pricing and availability is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2006.

Our take on the various Skype centric products:

1. Skype's service, while not a replacement for the public switched phone network (PSTN) remains a disruptive technology, and a serious threat to overpriced long-distance rates.

2. By embracing Skype's approach Netgear, Panasonic, DLink, VTech, IPEVO, Kodak and others have joined in the convergence parade, realizing more than the niche opportunity presented by Skype.

3. Although Wi-Fi phones are not new, combining a Wi-Fi phone with a peer-to-peer VoIP service certainly is noteworthy, and when offered with Skype's value-added services (like click-to-talk and photo sharing) the convergence market continues to evolve beyond plain old wireline and wireless voice connectivity.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?