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NETGEAR and Skype to Develop Skype WiFi Mobile Phone and Router
[January 04, 2006]

NETGEAR and Skype to Develop Skype WiFi Mobile Phone and Router

TMCnet IP Communications Columnist
Skype and NETGEAR are working together to create a family of products including a Skype WiFi mobile telephone and a router that will optimize Skype. The NETGEAR Skype WiFi phone will work anywhere a consumer is connected to a wireless Internet access point, without the need for a PC.

The Skype service experience will remain the same, and users can make free domestic and international calls as well as host conference calls and chat with other Sky users throughout the world. Non-Skype users will be charged a small fee. The device will free users from needing headphones or USB phones plugged into a laptop or PC.

The new phone will be pre-loaded with Skype software, and will be ready to use out-of-the-box with a wireless network. Users will simple turn on the phone and enter their Skype username and password to access their contact lists. The phone screen will display the user’s connection status, and users will then be able to connect to other Skype users for free. The SkypeOut feature will enable users to connect to non-Skype users.
NETGEAR and Skype are also developing the NETGEAR RangeMax Wireless Router (WPN824) with Smart MIMO technology, which will be equipped to optimize Skype. RangeMax routers avoid interference from neighboring wireless networks and eliminate dead spots to maintain reliable, high-performance, long-range network connections to each client.
“Customers can now call anyone on Skype, anywhere in the world for free without using a PC anytime they are connected to WiFi. We're extremely proud to deliver the world's first mobile phone enabling customers to enjoy all the benefits of Skype," said Patrick Lo, NETGEAR's chairman and chief executive officer. "Moreover, Skype integration with our RangeMax wireless router will further extend our leadership in innovative networking devices. Skype offers the simplicity, WiFi offers the connectivity, and NETGEAR offers the technology to innovate these market-changing products. Our teamwork with Skype is yet another way that NETGEAR is helping people to connect, all around the world."
"By collaborating with NETGEAR, Skype's reach is extended to a new, important consumer platform. This new phone allows Skype to offer its global users improved mobility," said James Bilefield, vice president of business development for Skype. "Simplicity and style were two qualities we looked for in a mobile phone and NETGEAR's new device will offer both to Skype users."
Laura Stotler writes about IP Communications and related topics for TMCnet. She has covered VoIP and related technologies for seven years, contributing to Internet Telephony magazine and TMCnet, and as a freelance writer. To see more articles, please visit: Laura Stotler’s columnist page.

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