Combo Cellular/Wi-Fi Phones To Boost VoIP - InformationWeek

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Combo Cellular/Wi-Fi Phones To Boost VoIP

Internet phoning subscribers with combo cellular/Wi-Fi handsets will give VoIP markets a big boost by 2009, according to a new study from In-Stat.

Internet phoning subscribers with combo cellular/Wi-Fi handsets are in the vanguard of a phenomenon that will pump up VoIP markets, according to a new study from In-Stat. Such users currently represent just two percent of the VoIP market.

The high tech market research firm predicted, in a report released Tuesday, that VoIP subscribers with wireless IP phones will represent 73 percent of the VoIP market in 2009. In-Stat said the first widespread rollouts of the dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi phones will be in Europe from mobile telephone service providers that have no wireline operations.

Most U.S. cell phone service providers are owned at least partially by telecommunications providers who won’t be anxious to encourage competition between their wireline and cell-phone operations.

In-Stat predicted that more than 66 million cellular/Wi-Fi phones will be in use by 2009.

"While mass production of dual-mode sets is not scheduled until 2007," In-Stat stated, "(Our) survey found that over 80 percent of businesses have an interest in the technology."

One combo cellular/Wi-Fi handset that has generated considerable attention to date is the i-Mate brand. Other firms are circling the market. Actiontec’s Internet Phone Wizard has a configuration that enables VoIP users to use a wireless telephone. And start-up iSkoot is launching a software-based solution for cell phones that enable users to make long-distance VoIP calls.

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