Yahoo, Linksys unveil VOIP/cordless phone

Cordless handset developed for Yahoo Messenger

Yahoo's instant messaging system already lets consumers talk into their PCs; now it's going out to a cordless phone.

A handset from Cisco Systems's Linksys consumer division lets users make and receive calls both on Yahoo Messenger with Voice and over a regular phone line. The phone, called the CIT310, also has a small color display so users can scroll through their Yahoo Messenger contacts or search for a local business.

The dual-mode feature arrives thanks to DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications), a European standard for cordless phones that supports both data and conventional voice traffic, said Linksys spokeswoman Karen Sohl. U.S. cordless phone technology typically has not supported data, she said. DECT was approved for use in the U.S. within the past few years and in Canada earlier this year, Sohl said. The product is being offered only in the U.S. and Canada.

With the arrival of VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol), instant-messaging providers such as Yahoo are trying to get into the phone business alongside cable operators and other new players. Breaking away from the need to use a PC is a big step toward making VOIP communication like a regular phone call. EBay's Skype Internet-calling division has announced a DECT phone with Koninklijke Philips Electronics and a Wi-Fi phone with Netgear, among others.

Leaving out Wi-Fi helped Linksys keep the price of the device down, according to Sohl. The estimated street price of the CIT310 is US$99.99. DECT operates in a separate unlicensed band from Wi-Fi, around 1.8GHz and 1.9GHz. Built-in encryption and authentication secures DECT phone calls, she said. Wi-Fi can't carry conventional phone calls.

The Linksys phone comes with a base station that can connect to both a conventional phone line and a PC's USB (Universal Serial Bus) port. Yahoo Messenger is built in to the device. Using Yahoo Messenger with Voice, users can make and receive PC-to-PC calls free and exchange calls over the regular phone network at low rates, according to the companies. They can also use the CIT310 as a conventional cordless phone.

In addition, users can enter their local ZIP code and a search term, such as "restaurant," using the keypad. The phone's screen will display results from the Yahoo Local Search service, and the user can then scroll through that list and click to call an entry.

The CIT310 is available now from Amazon.com and will soon be offered by other online retailers. Linksys hopes to have the phones in stores starting in January.

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.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?