VoIP pioneer Skype Technologies SA looks set to remove the computer lock-in for VoIP calls with the announcement of a collaboration with four network equipment makers to deliver Skype-enabled WiFi phones.
The handsets from Belkin, Edge-Core, Netgear, and SMC (Standard Microsystems), can be used at open Wi-Fi access points that do not require browser authentication. They will come bundled with a Skype user interface that will allow users to take their Skype Contacts with them and see who is online and available to talk.
We want to give people the freedom to move around while talking, and have access to Skype wherever they are, said Stefan Oberg, general manager hardware at Skype.
The Luxembourg-based company said the handsets will be easy to use and connect to Skype via automatic synchronization to a Skype account and contacts. The devices support common WiFi encryption protocols including WEP, WPA, and WPA2 with PSK support.
The phones are scheduled to arrive in the third quarter, and will be available from the Skype store priced at roughly $250 to $260.