Users of free softphone-based VoIP services are getting more and more alternatives to ‘tethered’ calling. The latest we’ve seen is a dual-mode cordless phone—the PHIP65 from St. Louis-based Auvi Technologies—that works with Skype’s VoIP software and makes normal calls over your telco landline—without any physical connection to the PC.
This brings the convenience of cordless telephony to the world of free and near-free Internet calls.
The base station unit, which connects both into the PC (via a USB cord) and to the household phone system, communicates with the handset using the advanced DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology. Among other advantages, DECT gets around the problem created by some cordless phone systems that operate in the 2.4GHz frequency spectrum, namely interference with 802.11 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking devices. It also provides an effective range in the neighborhood of 50 meters.
When the user presses the button that brings the Skype contact list up on the handset’s LCD screen, the phone operates in Skype mode, sending calls over the Internet connection. When the user dials a local number, the call goes to the POTS system.
The PHIP65 Dual Mode Cordless Phone features an integrated speakerphone, and supports caller ID, three-way calling, and transfers between handsets. (A second, auxiliary handset can be added to the system, at additional cost, if desired.)
The PHIP65 is available now, at selected retail and online e-commerce outlets at an MSRP of $129.99. The add-on handset—PHIP651—priced at $79.99, will be available in mid-December.