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In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
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In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Topic:
Hardwiring in a Rental House
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In The Forum:
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Topic:
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In The Forum:
Vonage UK
Topic:
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On Apr 27, 2017 at 18:52:02

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In The Forum:
Vonage UK
Topic:
How do you call 999
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In The Forum:
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Topic:
IP PBX for small business
On Mar 28, 2017 at 12:42:33


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Review: My First Day With Vonage, Excellent!
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Vonage Customer Review: One month with Vonage, and...
Vonage Customer Review: One month with Vonage, and...




Vonage Reviews

Vonage Wi-Fi Phone To Cost Less Than $100


Vonage In Print News

Nearly Everything Gets Unplugged

June 21, 2005

By Olga Kharif

Consumer-electronics companies aren't sure yet just what folks will want in their broadband wireless gizmos, but that isn't stopping them.

Wireless technology has liberated the laptop computer. Now consumer-electronics makers are using it to untether everyday devices from cameras and cell phones to TVs and refrigerators.

Get ready for the next wave of wireless gizmos. This October, Eastman Kodak (EK ) will bring out a digital camera that will let you snap a photo and immediately show it to a friend on a Wi-Fi-enabled PC or TV. And by early next year, you'll be able to zap that picture to a screen on a refrigerator when Samsung unveils an ice box with a wireless, detachable display that can function as a TV -- or gallery for family photographs (for these and more new products, see our Slide Show, "A Blitz of Wireless Broadband Gadgets").

Sounds cool? Sure. But this is just the start. Wait until consumer-electronics companies really figure out what works wirelessly and what doesn't. Right now, they're not so sure. They're only beginning to explore how to turn their products into wireless wonders. Many don't even know which features and applications consumers want. That's why a lot of the products that companies have recently introduced -- or that are in development -- "are just interesting toys, proof of concept," says David Chamberlain, an analyst with consultancy IDC.

SWITCH-HITTING PHONES. Nor do manufacturers have a feel for how much consumers are willing to pay for wireless gadgets and related services. "There's a lot of uncertainty," says Mark Kaish, a vice-president at telco BellSouth (BLS ), which is testing several wireless broadband technologies and related business models. Following six months of lab tests, BellSouth in July will begin a small trial of phones that offer both cell and Wi-Fi connectivity.

BellSouth expects consumers to pony up for a new generation of such dual-capability phones because they promise to cut users' monthly bills. Consider this: About 40% of cell calls today are made from within buildings. But with a phone that can switch to Wi-Fi when it picks up a wireless broadband connection, consumers could make those calls over the Internet -- from home, office, or some 17,000 wireless hot spots -- for much less, if not free. Better yet, unlike their predecessors, Wi-Fi phones from the likes of Vonage and Hop-On are priced at well below $100, which could finally push this technology into the mainstream.

Other customers will appreciate new audio and video capabilities soon to be available on some cell phones. Watching the sports highlights on a handset could become a lot more commonplace. Motorola's (MOT ) upcoming E815 cell phone can stream music videos and movie trailers through Verizon Wireless's superfast cell network, available in several dozen cities.

WIRELESS FROM BIRTH? At this early stage, however, broadband wireless devices and related services are still quite pricey. For services to reach mass adoption, prices will have to be cut in half, says Monica Paolini, founder of wireless researcher Senza Fili Consulting. For example, Paolini points out, only several thousand U.S. cell-phone customers -- less than 1% of the total subscriber pool -- are using broadband phone services from the likes of Verizon Wireless. But their ranks should reach 10% of all cell-phone subscribers by 2007, as prices plummet, she says.

What's more, if vendors are going to win widespread acceptance, they have to move away from adding wireless technology to products that have limited appeal. Most people won't pay hundreds of dollars for a refrigerator that can connected to the Internet, say analysts.

Still, once the technology becomes mainstream (read less expensive), most consumer-electronics devices -- and even such old-age contraptions like washing machines -- will feature high-speed wireless connections, says Craig Mathias, founder of wireless consultancy Farpoint Group. "When you are born, they'll give you a wireless phone number," he says, only half-joking.

And it won't seem odd for your oven to dial up your car to flash you a message to put the pedal to the metal because dinner is almost ready.



 
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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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