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Panasonic adds Skype to DECT cordless phone

Landline or VoIP - it's your choice

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CeBIT Panasonic today brought a new twist to the old-fashioned cordless phone market by announcing it will ship a set of Skype-compatible handsets in the second half of the year. The phones will connect through regular DECT base-stations into the public phone service and via a broadband internet link to Skype's P2P network.

The KX-TG9000 series lets users choose which way outgoing calls are routed. And it will automatically relay both landline and VoIP calls through to the handset. The phones will not only support free calls between Skype accounts, but also work with SkypeIn, SkypeOut and Voicemail services, Panasonic said.

The handset's debut will push VoIP into the mainstream, Panasonic said, and it's certainly something of a coup for Skype to win the support of such a major consumer electronics brand. There are plenty of VoIP handsets out there - using either Skype or the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standard - but few from well-known CE vendors.

Panasonic didn't say in which regions its KX-TG9000 handsets will ship when they arrive in H2 2006, mentioning it will offer them in "some European countries". ®

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