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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?