Stephen Lawson at InfoWorld:
Vonage Holdings Corp.’s VoIP customers will be able to get calls in areas covered by Wi-Fi hotspots after the release Tuesday (Dec. 13 – ed.) of a combination VOIP/Wi-Fi phone. (The Wi-Fi version is 802.11b – ed.)
Subsidiary Vonage Marketing and partner UTStarcom Inc. released the F1000 portable phone handset, which is configured with Vonage’s VOIP service. The F1000, available on Vonage.com, will sell for $79.99 after a $50 instant rebate, Vonage said.
The new phone will allow Vonage customers to detach from broadband wirelines and wander in Wi-Fi hotspots, said Louis Holder, executive vice president of product development for Vonage Holdings Corp.
Vonage expects that the phones will get the most use with home or work Wi-Fi networks, as well as open Wi-Fi hotspots in places such as college campuses, Holder said. If customers wish, they can assign their home telephone number to the Wi-Fi phone and have the number follow them wherever they take the phone.
Full F1000 info is on the Vonage web site including:
You’ll get a Phone Book with up to 200 entries, Speed Dial codes, an easy-to-access Call Log, as well as multiple Ring Tones to choose from. You can also set Anonymous Call Block to reject any callers without Caller ID, or blacklist specific phone numbers to prevent unwanted calls. You’ll get the same great Vonage pricing with exciting new features.
And note that the $50 rebate requires you to keep the Vonage service for at least 90 days. More annoying, even if you are already a current Vonage subscriber, you have to buy a new subscription with the phone.
Ed Oswald has more at BetaNews including this important caveat if you are planning on roaming away from your home or office:
Initially, the phone will only operate with public networks, meaning hotspots like those in Starbucks or some airports would not be compatible. However, Vonage said that it plans to resolve these issues as soon as possible.
It’s a little more complex than that, but 3rd party hotspots can be problematic. Vonage has exact details here, but they may be less than transparent to the less technically inclined.