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Cheap calls and Wi-Fi

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WLAN kit makers Linksys and Netgear have rolled out consumer and small-business oriented wireless access points with integrated Voice over IP (VoIP) support.

Linksys' WRT54GP2 provides a pair of VoIP phone ports alongside the usual broadband, wired and 802.11g connectivity. The company also unveiled its PAP2 phone adaptor, which sits between the handsets and a regular router, wireless or otherwise.

Linksys WRT54GP2 and PAP2
Linksys WRT54GP2 router and PAP2 phone adaptor

Linksys has partnered with US VoIP provider Vonage, which will be reselling the Linksys kit. Vonage offers price plans ranging from $15 to $50 a month, depending whether punters want primarily local or long distance calls, how many inclusive minutes they want, and whether they are a consumer or business buyer.

The devices support the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), along with a range of voice compression algorithms with echo cancellation and DTMF tone detection and generation. Both can handle FSK and DTMF caller ID, and FSK voicemail.

The WRT54GP2 will ship "in a few weeks", Linksys said, but it did not provide a price. The PAP2 is available now for $59. Both products will only be sold in the US.

Netgear will also partner with Vonage. It too will offer an 802.11g router with integrated VoIP support, along with a phone adaptor for existing routers. Both products will be based on Texas Instruments' VoIP and Wi-Fi chips, but Netgear was able to offer few other details. Both are expected to ship in the US in October. ®

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