SMC Networks Inc, the own-brand subsidiary of Taiwanese OEM networking vendor Accton Technology Corp, has launched a device that can be used by corporate travellers to make VoIP calls from anywhere they can get an Ethernet connection.
The SMC Wireless Travel Voice Gateway is suitable for use in a hotel room where there is broadband connectivity, enabling the user to avoid hotels’ charges for long-distance and international calls, said Brian Nickell, product manager for VoIP at the Irvine, California-based company.
You plug the uplink into the Ethernet connection and the hotel phone into the phone port, which enables VoIP calls out, he said. There is also an line-in port to receive calls, which means a user can have it set up to user his or her work number.
The SMCWTVG can also operate as a wireless access point, so any SIP-compliant WiFi phone can also be used with it, and if there is no wired internet connection available, it can also operate as an AP client, i.e. it can route traffic wirelessly to an AP installed at the site where the user is located (hotel, conference center, branch office, etc..).
Of course, in order to make calls using the device, the user will need to have a subscription to an IP telephony provider such as Vonage or SIPgate. The device could not be used with Skype because the latter uses a proprietary protocol rather than SIP, said Nickell.
The device will become available at the beginning of April through SMC partners, bearing a recommended US retail price of $129.99. As to the potential partners, Nickell said the box will likely be sold in association with ISPs who have a particular VoIP service partner, whose software will then come bundled onto the device.