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iSkoot Offers Dual-Mode Cell Phone Users A Route To VoIP

Users need a dual-mode phone that supports both Wi-Fi and GSM/CDMA networks.
iSkoot unveiled Friday a simple software download designed to let cell phone users use VoIP services such as Skype and GoogleTalk.

The 100k piece of software is a Java-based thin client application that operates with a network server. Uses can download the software from the iSkoot site. Users need a dual mode phone that supports both Wi-Fi networks and GSM/CDMA networks.

iSkoot's announcement comes a day after Skype's chief executive Niklas Zennstrom was quoted in press reports as saying technical difficulties and the lack of suitable cell phones has held up its mobile VoIP deployment.

In an interview Friday, iSkoot's chief executive officer Jacob Guedalia said: "Our client server architecture lets VoIP (operate) over Wi-Fi and on a broad number of devices."

"We leverage existing networks and devices, while other solutions require CPU, memory and high-end devices," he added.

Presently there are few dual mode phones, but they have been dribbling out in recent months. Guedalia mentioned Nokia's E Series mobile phones as examples that will operate with the new software.

Guedalia said the new technology solution will connect also with AIM, Microsoft Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger among others. He added that the software operates with three network connections " Wi-Fi, 3G/GPRS data, and GSM/CDMA. In the U.S. those connections are offered by Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile. The solution apparently doesn't operate with Verizon Wireless and Sprint, however.

While iSkoot hasn't discussed the new software with Skype, Guedalia said it could represent a way to connect Skype users in a mobile manner. "Our products are completely complimentary with Skype," he said.

Guedalia said the key to the new thin client solution is its ability to extend connectivity beyond older circuit switching techniques. He said: "We offer a major advantage to carriers, end users and device manufacturers, namely that they can enjoy the advantages of fixed-to-mobile convergence without making the large infrastructure investments required in other solutions."