Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wireless VoIP

Cisco Systems' Linksys networking gear unit is venturing into new territory. The company unveiled its first phones designed to enable customers to leverage 802.11g wireless networks to make voice over IP (VoIP) calls.

The new product line includes two Wireless-G IP phones: the WIP300 and WIP330. The WIP330 allows users to configure the handset to access available Wireless-G networks. The WIP330 comes equipped with a built-in Internet browser that enables it to attach to wireless networks, such as public hot spots that require user name or password access.

The WIP330's SecureEasySetup makes connecting with a Linksys router a 2-button job. Once secure WPA-encrypted connection is established, the WIP330 user can make VoIP calls from within that network.

In January, Linksys teamed with Yahoo! to introduce the Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge, which was designed to complement Yahoo's digital music download service.

Last year, Linksys began selling its Wireless-G product line at OfficeMax retail outlets. The agreement was part of Linksys' goal of focusing on solution-based merchandising and small business-related market initiatives, according to the company.

The WIP300 and WIP330 are priced at $219.99 and $369.99, respectively. Linksys plans to expand its line of Wi-Fi phones in the second half of 2006.


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