As VoIP continues to gain in exposure and popularity the penny has dropped with manufacturers that they need to uncouple it from the home computer. Netgear started this trend with the SPH101 in May and now Belkin has picked up the torch.
In partnership with Skype the company has announced the ’Belkin Wi-Fi phone’, a handset which looks like a mobile (particularly a BenQ Siemens model in my opinion) that will work from any wireless hotspot.
The interface will be familiar to many since it is developed by Skype and has a similar menu system with identical icons. Users can search, add or delete contacts, make and receive calls and talk to other Skype users for free, just as you would from a PC. WPA, WPA2 and PSK support is inbuilt to keep conversations secure and it is 802.11b/g compatible.
Furthermore, in co-ordination with the Belkin launch, Skype has announced its ‘Talk for Britain’ promotion where users who buy Skype Out credit before 31 December will be able to make free UK landline calls in addition the free Skype-to-Skype calls for the next six months. The offer applies to any number that starts 01 or 02 and includes the Channel Islands, Northern Island and the Isle of Man. For more info, check here.
The Belkin Wi-Fi phone goes on sale from the end of this month with an RRP of £99.99 and looks set to give the SPH101 a run for its money.