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Look Ma: VoIP Calling Over Dialup, No PC Needed

Launching a free VoIP service that it believes will bring Internet telephoning to a new level, Fusion Telecommunications said its efonica service will enable callers to talk from any combination of PCs, IP phones, and regular phones over dialup or broadband connections.

Launched Monday, the service has several features that distinguish it from the hoards of VoIP offerings already on the market: after setting up the service, callers can connect over dialup or broadband links to callers on PCs, regular landlines, or cell phones. Users aren't required to have a PC to use the service.

"We call it the "Worldwide Internet Area Code," said Matthew Rosen, Fusion's president and chief executive officer, in an interview. "You just register and put a "
'10' in front of your number."

Rosen, who noted that Fusion already has a presence in 46 countries, said the company recently completed the first version of a proprietary softphone, which enables dialup users to make clear VoIP calls. From its beginnings several years ago, Fusion has targeted developing countries, whose citizens use dialup, because broadband connections are rarely available to them.

"We started in emerging markets," said Rosen. "In order to be successful there, you have to have dialup."

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