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Phones and Stuff

VON is more of a B2B than B2C show, so there were not a lot of exciting consumer VoIP products to check out. Probably the biggest news in the consumer VoIP space was the Skype Cordless phones from OEM/ODM Ascalade announced a few weeks ago by Skype. The photo below shows the Philips VoIP841 and as-yet-unnamed (and unannounced) Netgear version side by side in Ascalade's booth.

Philips and Netgear Cordless Skype Phones from Ascalade

Philips and Netgear Cordless Skype Phones from Ascalade (click to enlarge)

The Philips handset definitely looks more polished, with the Netgear looking like a bulkier (and larger) version of its Wi-Fi Skype phone. But the Netgear handset's keypad somehow made the phone look unfinished next to the Euro-styled Philips version. Note that both handsets have built-in speakerphones (unlike the current crop of Wi-Fi Skype phones).

Netgear Cordless Skype Phone Handset

Netgear Cordless Skype Phone Handset (click to enlarge)

Since neither of these phones, nor the crop of Skype Wi-Fi handsets support Skype text chat, I assume that Skype's current design spec for these devices doesn't provide for it. By the way, pricing hasn't been officially set for either the Philips or Netgear phones, but I don't think you're going to see either one for the $100 or so that they should sell for.

A stop by ZyXEL's booth turned up an assortment of VoIP gateways in various combinations with routers, 802.11g AP's and ADSL2+ modems. The most interesting was the P-2302HWUDL 802.11g Wireless VoIP Station Gateway with DECT Station shown below with an unnamed DECT handset.

ZyXEL Wireless VoIP Gateway with DECT Station

ZyXEL Wireless VoIP Gateway with DECT Station (click to enlarge)

ZyXEL is primarily targeting service providers with this product, which should be out in November and has no pricing set as yet. But the booth rep said it could eventually find its way to being offered directly to consumers willing to deal with the complexities of BYO Device VoIP.

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