February 14, 2005 12:12 PM PST

Motorola phones to call on Wi-Fi, VoIP

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Motorola said Monday that it is developing cell phones capable of making calls using Wi-Fi networks, a big step for Internet phone forces now eyeing the wireless industry.

The world's No. 3 handset maker plans to add Internet phone software from Internet telephony provider Skype to a select number of Motorola phones that link to the Internet using short-range, high-speed Wi-Fi networks.

With the phones, it'll be possible for Skype customers to call each other--at no additional cost, in most instances.

Because the phones would steer calls away from cell phone networks, combination cell and voice over Internet Protocol phones could have a profound impact on the wireless industry.

VoIP calls, connecting via a Wi-Fi network to a home broadband connection, can be made for free or at prices sometimes half of that for a cell phone call. But when on cell phones, they raise a serious question: Why would a cell phone service provider want to sell or host such a service that has the potential to eat into its own revenue?

As one wireless whiz put it Monday, "cannibalism happens" in the telephone industry. Also, wireless operators see VoIP as an opportunity to take business away from the local wireline phone competition.

"Skype is natural fit," said Liz Altman, vice president of business development for Motorola mobile devices.

Hue and cry over Wi-Fi
Interest in combination cell and VoIP phones is growing from handset makers and operators, according to executives attending the 3GSM World Congress show in Cannes, France. The huge wireless trade show, at which the Skype-Motorola deal was announced, began Monday.

"We're getting a lot of requests to supply handset makers with the relevant software. Nokia is very, very big on this," said David Rivas, chief technology officer of Sun Microsystems' mobility unit. A version of Sun's download software is now on more than half the world's cell phones. A Nokia representative had no immediate comment.

But there are several obstacles to cramming VoIP onto cell phones that handset and network equipment makers have yet to overcome.

Most have to do with Wi-Fi phones. For example, most U.S. operators haven't found a way to adequately switch between the two wireless networks, keep track of the calls for billing purposes or keep a phone from draining its battery too quickly. There are thousands of Wi-Fi networks nationwide--but only a fraction of what's needed for coast-to-coast coverage.

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WiFi Telephony
The Motorola M900 WiFon was on display at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany last week. This wifi-only SIP device can connect to any public wireless LAN network to make low-cost VoIP calls. The device is not locked and may be configured with any VoIP carrier service.

Motorola has the resources and technical capabilities to be a leader in the emerging sector of WiFi telephony.
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CeBIT in Hannover
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/lexus_gx_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/lexus_gx_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
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Motorola phones to call on Wi-Fi, VoIP
"In recent weeks, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA has signed a string of deals with wireless handset manufacturers. Carrier Devices, for instance, has agreed to install proprietary Skype VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) software in its i-mate branded Pocket PC phones with Wi-Fi capability. Motorola is also on board to integrate Skype software into a number of its new wireless devices. Another big-name manufacturer on the list is Siemens, which has launched a dongle that runs Skype on Siemens' DECT phones."

Didn't IBM begin to deliver computers with MSDOS and later Windows in them?
After almost 25 years we begin to see it was not such a good idea...

Patrizia

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.woip.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.woip.blogspot.com</a>
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