Skype, one of the world’s leading voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) providers, has announced that four equipment makers would start to offer phones, which allow making calls using Skype without personal computers. In order to operate, the phones will require Wi-Fi connectivity, which does not require verification.
“We want to give people the freedom to move around while talking and have access to Skype wherever they are – whether in front of a computer or while moving around the home or office,” said Stefan Oberg, General Manager Hardware for Skype.
The Skype Wi-Fi phones are built to connect to Skype via any personal, business or free public Wi-Fi access point that does not require browser authentication. The phones are claimed to be easy to set-up and use with automatic synchronization to a Skype account and contacts. The devices support common WiFi encryption protocols including WEP, WPA, and WPA2 with PSK support.
Skype said that during the third quarter of the year, it plans to offer Skype Wi-Fi phones from Belkin (F1PP000GN-SK), Edge-Core (WM4201), Netgear (SPH101) and SMC (WSKP100) via its online stores. The company did not specify the pricing of the devices, but started to take orders on the Netgear phone for Skype for ?210 ($266). Usually Skype phones (with USB connectivity) cost from around ?20 ($25) to around ?85 ($107).
Skype network allows members to call each other for free and also dial traditional landline or cellular numbers at relatively low rates.