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Service Lets Cell-Phone Callers Connect Via The Net

Technology from i2 Telecom will let cell users dial their home phones and connect to a voice-over-IP network, then dial anywhere in the world for no extra charge--offering big savings on overseas calls.
Cell-phone users can make calls over the Internet using a technology developed by i2 Telecom International, which says the service works with all popular cell-phone services.

"You just make a call from your cell phone to your i2 Telecom box at home," senior VP of marketing Rick Scherle said in an interview Wednesday. "And we hook you onto the Internet." Scherle said the service will be available when shipments of the company's new InternetTalker MG-3 begin next month.

The patent-pending technology behind the feature is embedded in the InternetTalker, which connects to existing broadband phone lines and Web connections at users' homes or offices. When a user dials into his home number, the InternetTalker recognizes the cell-phone caller ID and immediately links the caller to the voice-over-IP network. The InternetTalker can recognize as many as three cell-ID numbers.

Callers who dial in are connected to home voice-over-IP service, then hear a second dial tone, after which they can dial anywhere in the world for no extra charge beyond i2 Telecom's normal service charge. Of course, users pay for their normal cell-phone charge, too.

"This is an exciting application for people who make overseas calls," Scherle said. "It's also good for people who have more than one box." Noting that businesses with different offices use voice over IP to eliminate toll charges between the offices, Scherle said the cellular bridge to voice over IP can also be a boon for mobile workers. He ticked off some savings made possible by the new service: A call to China, for instance, which typically costs $4.20 a minute from a landline service provider, would cost just 5 cents with the new i2 Telecom service; a call to the United Kingdom, normally $1.75 a minute over landline, is just 3 cents.

The cell-phone calling feature is embedded in the processor of the InternetTalker MG-3, which, in turn, meets SIP standards and operates with all popular cell-phone service-provider standards, including all versions of CDMA, TDMA, GSM, and G2. No access numbers or PIN codes are required because the InternetTalker recognizes the cell-phone subscriber calling in.

The firm has several product offerings aimed at business and consumer users. What's more, i2 Telecom subscribers can call other i2 Telecom subscribers for free.