Vonage ships £20 phone adaptor
Cheaper way into VoIP
VoIP specialist Vonage has begun offering Linksys' handset adaptor in the UK. The device allows two ordinary phones to be connected directly to a broadband Internet link and used to make VoIP calls.
The 10 x 10 x 1.5cm unit, the PAP2, isn't Vonage-specific, working instead with standard Internet telephony protocols such as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and a range of voice-compression technologies.
The device can handle DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) dialing tones, and supports caller ID using both FSK (Frequency Shift Keying) and DTMF. Other supported acronyms include FSK VMWI (Visual Message Waiting Indicator) and VAD (Voice Activity Detection). It does echo cancellation too, apparently.
The PAP2 is available for around £20 from a number of retailers - Vonage pointed out Comet, Maplin and Broadbandbuyer.co.uk. Interestingly, a non-Vonage version is also available, but it retails for around twice the price.
To use the device, buyers will need to sign up to Vonage's £10 a month consumer subscription package, or the £19 a month business tariff, which includes a fax line and bundles 500 minutes of local and national calls. Calls to other Vonage users are free. Calls to mobile phones are priced at 5-15p a minute, depending on whether you call at weekends, in the evening or during working days.
Vonage already offers a £30 Linksys phone adaptor-equipped router package through Staples, or you can by it online from Vonage for £24 - the router's free, but you pay a £17 "activation fee" and £7 to have the kit shipped to you. ®