Skype Tackles the Home Phone Market

Will Skype on the home phone increase their user-base?

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Skype Tackles the Home Phone Market
[ Technology]

Surely, this news will please E.T., right? Oh, wait. That’s “phone home,” not “home phone.” What we have here is a device that allows would-be Skype users to access the service from their home phone.

That’s right. No longer are potential Skype users forced to have a computer device to enjoy the VOIP service. To do so, you must first acquire the FREETALK Connect·Me Home Phone Adapter for Skype, a new add-on component that allows users to convert their handset to a Skype device. The description, which was offered over at the Skype blog by Helen Blackburn, Head of the Partner Product Management team at Skype, says:

The FREETALK Connect·Me Home Phone Adapter is a hassle-free, plug-and-play solution that lets you use your existing handset to make free Skype-to-Skype calls, as well as low-cost calls to landlines and mobile phones worldwide at our extremely low Skype rates.

While you don’t need a computing device to use the new Skype adapter, you do need a broadband Internet connection. Not only are the Skype home phone adapters now available, the post also discusses the launch of the GE Digital Cordless Expandable Telephone with Skype.

Essentially, GE’s phone has the Skype Home Phone adapter built into it, allowing users the same kind of freedom the adapter itself offers. That is, to make Skype-to-Skype calls for free. Other details include:

…connect with Skype contacts for free, make low-cost calls to mobiles and landlines and manage your Skype contacts, all without the need of a PC.

There are also pay plans for those of you who’d like to use the Skype home phone services for extended connections with landlines and mobile devices, just in case you Skype list isn’t all inclusive:

  • FREETALK Connect·Me + more than 60 minutes** of complimentary calls to landlines and mobiles via Skype ($39.99)
  • FREETALK Connect·Me + 12 months of calls to landlines and mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada and 200 minutes**of calls to international landlines and mobiles ($59.99)
  • FREETALK Connect·Me + a 3-month Unlimited*World subscription to the US and Canada plus landlines in 40 other countries ($59.99)

These exist for GE’s cordless phone as well. For more information on this, check out the blog post, which features a video highlighting the benefits of Skype on your home phone.

Come for the advertisement, stay for the guy’s look of satisfaction at the 19-second mark of the video.

Is this a “begone, Vonage” move on Skype’s part? Has Skype thrown down the “there can be only one” gauntlet in regards to successful VOIP service? Let us know what you think.

Skype Tackles the Home Phone Market
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  • http://bradmc.com BradMc

    Maybe I’m overlooking something here, but I think they need to provide more information on how it works. The devil could be in the details…

    For instance, I have a Skype USB device that needs Windows, which means I have stopped using it almost totally in favor of a standalone wifi Skype phone on the few occasions that I actually need to use it instead of the regular landline. But other than needing a Windows computer, it works great conceptually. The phone line from the wall plugs into the device, and every phone plugged into any jack in the house can switch back and forth between the telco line and Skype by using a touchtone. If that’s also how this device works, then that’s a great thing.

    Or, does it just work for the single phone that’s plugged into it? If that’s the case, then I see it being a tougher sell. My router is nowhere near the main phone I would want to use it with, and running ethernet cable for it wouldn’t be practical. If it had a built-in wifi option, that would be better – but if it could still only handle the one phone plugged into it, it’s not something I would buy.

    I haven’t spent any time researching it, and haven’t searched for a manual, but the release and follow-up articles don’t provide that level of information.

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