Skype and Netgear launch Wi-Fi phone

— 3:16 AM on January 5, 2006

Skype and Netgear have teamed up to produce the world's first Wi-Fi mobile telephone.

The NETGEAR device will combine the best of Internet calling and wireless. The NETGEAR phone is pre-loaded with Skype’s software, ready out-of-the-box to use with a wireless network. All a user needs to do after turning on the phone is enter a Skype username and password. The Skype software pulls up the user’s full contact list, displays the connection status on the phone screen, and allows the consumer to connect to any other Skype user for free. The phone will also allow users to connect to non-Skype users with the SkypeOut™ feature. More information on NETGEAR’s Skype WiFi phone, including pricing and availability, is planned for the first quarter of 2006.
Leave it to PC Watch to snag a picture of the phone. Mind you, the phone in the picture is a sample, so don't pay too much attention to the "No Service" message on the screen.

C|Net is reporting that availability is expected in the first quarter of this year. As with any Wi-Fi connection, security is a concern, and it remains to be seen if people will embrace a mobile VoIP solution.

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