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Friday, April 28, 2006

VOIP on a citywide Wi-Fi network: goodbye to mobile phone subscriptions?

From MuniWireless:

"VOIP on a citywide Wi-Fi network: goodbye to mobile phone subscriptions?

I came across an article in Sci-Tech Today, announcing Vonage UK’s deal with The Cloud, a Wi-Fi network wholesale operator: U.S.-based Internet-phone company Vonage announced Wednesday that it is teaming up with The Cloud, a provider of wireless broadband, to offer a mobile-phone service that will rely on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to let users make calls through Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK. According to Vonage, there will be no cumbersome log-on to connect through a VoIP hotspot. Users near a hotspot will simply make their calls. But if those using the service move outside a hotspot’s range, the call will be cut off and the user will have to revert to a conventional cellular network to make and receive calls — complete with traditional per-minute rates. So far, Vonage’s customers have to find a hotspot to make their calls and use traditional cellular service when they are outside the range of the network. But what if there is a citywide Wi-Fi network and what if access is even free of charge as in St. Cloud? This is not lost on the author of this piece: “Vonage and others are looking at the rise of municipal wireless networks, run by city governments, as being a big opportunity in the U.S.” Read my recent interview with Niall Murphy of The Cloud, my post on T-Mobile’s new HSDPA service in the Netherlands and why I love Skype on a Wi-Fi network (make sure you read the comments to this article). "

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