VoIP for the home

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Engin, a division of Mobile Innovations launched what it claimed to be the first broadband telephony service for consumers to be sold through retailers Dick Smith and Tandy.

Engin, a division of Mobile Innovations launched what it claimed to be the first broadband telephony service for consumers to be sold through retailers Dick Smith and Tandy.

The product, dubbed engin Voice Box, lets home users make and receive calls via any landline or mobile phone over their broadband internet connection, reducing household phone bills by up to 40 percent, the company claimed.

Consumers are given a standard 10 digit phone number and using a normal phone, they can make and receive calls. The product does not require software to operate and there is no need to even turn a computer on, the company claimed.

Voice Box was an affordable alternative to traditional 'fixed line' fees and consumers could make local and intercapital city calls for as low as 10ยข untimed, the company claimed.

Features of the product include Voice Mail and V-Mail where a voice mail message can be emailed as a sound file to the user.

Mobile Innovations subsidiary MIBroadband was granted a carrier license on 29 March to offer the service and has 200 customers trialling the product.

Voice Box requires an analog, cordless or DECT phone, a broadband internet connection, Ethernet router and modem. The hardware costs $149 (inc.GST) and $19.95 per month plus call costs.

Meanwhile, NetComm is making a play at capturing VoIP in the home too. It launched its Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) product this week.

The adaptor also lets users make IP calls from a normal telephone.

Over the next few weeks, the company would also announce new ADSL modem and modem router products featuring analog phone ports.

"A key reason why business and home users have been slow to embrace VoIP is that, until recently, users were unconvinced that calls were of a sufficient quality to warrant replacing their existing PSTN services," said NetComm executive director Mike Boorne.

"We are now at a stage where VoIP services are almost indistinguishable from other voice services, while the strong uptake of broadband is creating a proper network platform for equal, two-way communications in realtime."
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