Convergence to Drive VoIP via Wi -Fi

Vonage will soon offer dedicated VoWi-Fi handsets that will allow users to place VoIP calls wirelessly, either through their home Wi-Fi access point, or, in partnership with Boingo Wireless, through any of Boingo`s network of public Wi-Fi hotspots

Oyster Bay, NY - November 2, 2004 - If the goal of all wireless technologies is ubiquitous coverage using whatever form of connection makes sense from a given location, Vonage, SBC and other companies are soon to bring it a bit closer, according to Phil Solis, senior analyst, wireless connectivity at ABI Research


He points out that Vonage will soon offer dedicated VoWi -Fi handsets that will allow users to place VoIP calls wirelessly, either through their home Wi -Fi access point, or, in partnership with Boingo Wireless, through any of Boingo's network of public Wi -Fi hotspots (they have 11,000 worldwide).

"There is a downside to this first offering," says Solis. "A user will have to carry the Vonage VoIP handset plus a cellular phone to get full coverage." But that won't always be the case. Motorola is expected to release dual (cell/Wi -Fi) handsets for corporate use by the end of 2004 or early 2005. Falling chip prices will see consumer models follow soon after.

Before that happens, SBC customers, via the Cingular network, will be offered a special deal: by signing up for DSL services, they will be able to use any of the network's public hotspots, as well as many available via a roaming agreement with Wayport, for just US$1.99 per month extra. Initially, this will appeal to users wanting Internet access and data -based services, but as VoIP becomes available through wireless handsets, customers would be able to make their voice calls that way as well.

These and similar developments now taking shape will facilitate a more rapid uptake of VoIP in the residential market.

ABI Research's study, "Residential VoIP Markets", lays out the drivers, barriers, and opportunities in the broadband VoIP market. Forecasts include subscribers, subscriber revenue, CPE shipments, and CPE revenue.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations that support annual research programs, quarterly intelligence services and market reports in wireless, automotive, semiconductors, broadband, and energy. Their market research products can be found on the web at www.abiresearch.com, or by calling 516.624.2500.

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