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Unwire Vonage

Based on my recent experience with Vonage, Aaron's and Seuss' testimonials, and the real cost savings of about $500 over the year, I signed up for the VOIP service over the weekend.

Today, I see that Vonage has plans to ship a WiFi phone, and the traveller in me is drooling. With such a phone, all I will need is a wifi connection to make and receive local calls to North America, and I won't need to drag a laptop and headset and pay fees on Skype to call landlines. Awesome.

I wonder, though, how it will handle authentication on a T-Mobile Hotspot / Starbucks-type service. The phone Vonage will distribute is made by UTStarcom, and their F1000 wifi phone spec sheet makes no mention of a browser, which is necessary to input a username and password. As a potential customer, I'm hoping they've thought through the common use cases for the phone ("I want to use this phone at Starbucks").

Still, Vonage is headed in the right direction. I can't imagine that the folks at T-Mobile are thrilled about Vonage using its own broadband network to disrupt T-Mobile's mobile business. The effect likely won't be felt initially, but wifi ubiquity is growing, VOIP is doing nothing if not disrupting traditional phone service.

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Jim Frasch said on Jan 5 2005:

I've been considering Vonage for a while now. My mom got it (yes -- gasp -- my mother has actually embraced a new technology before I have!) and it seems neat. She leaves her computer on all the time for it, but I didn't think that was a requirement.

2. Levi said on Jan 5 2005:

I have Broadvoice VOIP who have been offering a "softphone" for a while now, though that may be different from this wireless one. Anyway, from what I've heard hotspots block the ports that VOIP usually works on. Couldn't be that easy, huh?


Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

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