This product, which will offer mobility across 802.11b networks, will be available to Vonage subscribers in the U.S. during the spring/summer 2005.
Oyster Bay, NY - January 13, 2005 - On January 4 at CES, Vonage and UTStarcom, Inc. announced a partnership to introduce a portable Wi -Fi handset, the F -1000, configured with Vonage's Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service. This product, which will offer mobility across 802.11b networks, will be available to Vonage subscribers in the U.S. during the spring/summer 2005. Meanwhile, the new service is being trialed internally.
While this is not the first foray into providing cellular phone services over Wi -Fi - - Net2Phone has been conducting a trial in Newark, New Jersey - - Vonage's extensive reach, via hotspot aggregator Boingo Wireless's 12,000+ locations in 48 U.S. states and 32 countries, means that F -1000 purchasers will enjoy a practical alternative to traditional cellular communications.
According to Philip Solis, senior analyst, wireless connectivity at ABI Research, many consumers will use the new phone as a cordless phone replacement on their home or business Wi -Fi networks. Some might not want to carry the extra VoIP handset in addition to their standard mobile phone when traveling. But such a service could have value for anyone wishing to make a large number of calls from public hotspots. "This development is significant," says Solis, "because of the size of Vonage's customer base - - 400,000 - - compared to other VoIP providers."
The F -1000 phone, with its embedded multimedia terminal adaptor, is expected to sell for under US$100. "That's been one of the major issues with bringing a consumer voice -over -Wi -Fi handset to market - -" notes Solis, " - - keeping the price below the sensitive $100 point while still using high -quality Wi -Fi chips to ensure good performance."
ABI Research's study, "Voice Over Wi -Fi (VoWi -Fi): Client Devices, Forecasts and Network Design Issues" forecasts the growth of various VoWi -Fi client solutions and the direction VoWi -Fi will take in regard to 802.11 and VoIP technologies. Shipments, ASPs, and revenue forecasts are provided through 2009.
Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations that support annual research programs, intelligence services and market reports in wireless, automotive, semiconductors, broadband, and energy. For more information please visit www.abiresearch.com, or call 516.624.2500.