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Zoom Modems Give VoIP Users Flexibility

Zoom Technologies, Inc. is providing a group of consumer-friendly telecommunications devices that enable users to toggle back-and-forth between VoIP and primary phone connections.

Basing its VoIP business plan on making it easy for users to ease their way into Internet telephoning, Zoom Technologies, Inc. is providing a group of consumer-friendly telecommunications devices for both individual and business users.

Zoom announced the latest addition to its VoIP family Thursday--the four-port ADSL X6 modem with wireless 802.11 capability. Like the company's other DSL VoIP products, the device enables users to toggle back-and-forth between VoIP and primary phone connections. Users connect with other callers via Zoom's Global Village, which provides free calling to others who have signed up for IP services such as Pulver Free World and IPTel.

"Our policy is that we will interoperate with other SIP-based providers," said Terry Manning, Zoom's vice president of sales and marketing, in an interview. "We don't plan to make our money on the service." The company's revenues--some $30 million a year--currently comes from a combination of older analog and newer products. Manning sees VoIP as the future big driver of Zoom's sales.

He further described Zoom's VoIP effort by explaining what it doesn't do: First, it doesn't charge a monthly fee, giving users the opportunity to tinker with VoIP free of service charges (after they have purchased a DSL modem for as little as $100). Second, the fact that it follows the SIP protocol makes it more secure than peer-to-peer VoIP plans, and that makes Zoom attractive to businesses.

The DSL modems enable users to toggle back-and-forth between VoIP and regular land lines by simply pressing a single key. After a user plugs a standard phone into a Zoom DSL modem, all she needs to do is press the pound sign to connect to the Global Village service.

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