With its free Skype Out promotion due to end in a few weeks, Skype today announced a new Skype Unlimited Calling plan. This is a paid annual subscription service that allows registered users to make 12 months of unlimited SkypeOut calls to any phone within the U.S. and Canada. This is the first time that Skype is making an annual subscription calling plan available anywhere in the world.
Microsoft today opened a private beta of its new enterprise voice communications server, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, to 2,500 IT professionals. The new server is aimed at allowing companies to integrate voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology into existing telephony infrastructure and is the successor to Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005.
Sometimes you just need an operator. It's not often, but there are services that a real, live operator can perform that you just don't get when you subscribe to one of the popular VOIP services such as Vonage. Of course, you're not gong to make collect calls from your VOIP line, and international calls likewise need no operator intervention.Â But what happens if you need to check the status of a line? That was the scenario I recently faced.
Belkin today announced that it has added support for using its Wi-Fi Phone for Skype with Boingo Wireless hot spots. This makes Belkin the first company to address one of the weaknesses of the current crop of Wi-Fi Skype phones; the inability to be used with wireless hot spots that require browser-based authentication.
A Belkin spokesperson said that the authentication will be done using Boingo's embedded Wi-Fi toolkit, which is basically a configuration file that provides the credentials to authenticate to each Boingo hotspot type. Belkin also said that a firmware upgrade for current Wi-Fi Phone users will be available "by mid December" for download from Belkin's website.
Belkin Wi-Fi Phone users can sign up for a Boingo Mobile Unlimited account, which gives them unlimited access to Boingo hot spots, for only $7.95 per month.
With computer VoIP services like Skype and Vonage continuing to build consumer base, Truphone is a new London-based start-up going a slightly different route - bringing the same technology to cell phones to enable free or inexpensive calls on the go.
The technology behind Truphone, which is currently only available for select Nokia handsets, is based on the idea that that calls are routed through the Internet instead the more costly networks of mobile carriers. It can be used anywhere where a strong Wi-Fi signal is present, Truphone writes.
Axis Communications today introduced what it claims is the first network camera designed for use in buses and rail vehicles. The AXIS 209FD-R Network Camera is a compact (less than 1.6" high), ruggedized camera designed to resist the vibration, dust and high humidity typically found in mass transit vehicles.
SMC Networks today announced a product bundle for wireless Skype calling.
The bundle includes everything you need to make Internet calls using an 802.11b or g wireless LAN: SMC's WSKP100 Wi-Fi Phone for Skype (reviewed here), FONs La Fonera wireless router, 500 minutes of SkypeOut credit and Skype Voicemail for a year.
The bundle is available now from the Skype Web store for $159.99.
SMC Networks today announced two cradles for its Wi-Fi Skype phone: the SMCDPCR WiFi phone cradle and SMCDPCR-AP cradle/access point.
The SMCDPCR-AP serves as a charger/cradle and includes and an 802.11g access point. The AP has two SSIDs: one for VoIP calls and the other for regular wireless clients. It also supports WEP encryption and WPA and WPA2 security.
The SMCDPCR and SMCDPCR-AP will be available next month at MSRPs of $19.99 and $69.99, respectively.
Sling Media and 3G mobile broadband provider 3 Group today announced that they are partnering to give customers access to their home TV channels on their mobile handsets. This marks the first time that Sling Media has partnered with a major mobile operator.
TelEvolution today announced its PhoneGnome Service 2.0 that offers multiple ways to make free long distance and international calls to most telephones in the world. PhoneGnome Service 2.0 requires no hardware, and gives consumers free or low priced calls using their home phone, mobile phone, or PC.
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