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VoIP Over Wi-Fi Launches In New Mexico

A wireless network company and a telephone company have teamed up to provide what they claim is the nation's first metropolitan-wide VoIP over Wi-Fi service. The service was launched Thursday in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Ecuity Inc., a telephone company that has long provided traditional landline service, is providing the VoIP expertise while Azulstar Networks is deploying city-wide Wi-Fi service to Rio Rancho's 64,000 residents. The service has been set at $29.95 a line for unlimited calling in North America.

"The carrier-class phone service developed by Ecuity and Azulstar runs directly over the metro-wide Wi-Fi wireless network that spans more than 70 percent of Rio Rancho," the firms said in a release. Often called Silicon Mesa, Rancho Rio is home to several high tech companies in the Albuquerque suburbs.

Ecuity and Azulstar said a variety of mixed and mobile SIP VoIP handsets can be used with the system after customers chose a number--either their existing number or a new number. The service, which also includes various telephony features such as voice mail and call forwarding, can be used at both fixed and mobile locations.

In addition to the residential service, the companies said it is offering an unlimited business service for $129.95 a month for four-digit extensions and a fax line. The initial service will cover Rio Rancho, while full mobile service is expected to get underway in six months.