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Linksys Launches Wi-Fi VoIP Phones

Wireless networking equipment vendor Linksys Wednesday started shipping two voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones designed to work over Wi-Fi networks.

Specifically, the company, which is a subsidiary of Cisco Systems, said it has released two phones that are designed both for home and office networks and public hotspots. Unlike most Wi-Fi VoIP phones, Linksys said its new phones support use with any VoIP service provider. By contrast, most existing wireless VoIP phones are designed to work with specific VoIP vendors such as Skype or Vonage.

Both of the new Linksys phones support SIP and are work over 802.11g and 802.11b wireless networks. The WIP 330 has a 2.2-inch color display and has built-in Quality of Service capabilities, which help insure the quality of voice calling. It also supports three-way calls and a system that Linksys says allows for fast authentication at public hotspots. The WIP 300 has a 1.8-inch color display and supports such standard phone features as call forwarding.

"Voice over IP has clearly emerged as the future of telephone communication," Tarun Loomba, Linksys' director of product management, said in a statement.

Linksys said the WIP 300 costs $220 and the WIP 330 costs $370. The company said it expects to release more voice-over-Wi-Fi phones later this year.