by CIO Staff

Vonage Boosts Wi-Fi Telephony Service in U.K.

Apr 28, 20062 mins

Citron’s Vonage is increasing the number of wireless “hot spots” where British users of Wi-Fi telephones can place calls, Forbes reports.

Vonage’s F1000 series has been plagued with service problems in recent days, with calls often being cut off mid-conversation whenever a user exits wireless-enabled hot spots like Internet cafes and Starbucks coffee shops, according to Forbes.

To address the problem, Vonage inked a deal with U.K. national Wi-Fi network operator The Cloud, which manages more than 7,000 hot spots across the United Kingdom in various transportation stations and restaurants, among other locales, Forbes reports. The Cloud also plans to blanket London’s central financial district, dubbed the Square Mile, with Wi-Fi, according to Forbes.

Kerry Ritz, Vonage’s managing director, noted that its Wi-Fi offering is not meant to replace the traditional cell phone, but rather it will play a different role, Forbes reports.

“Small businesses who are moving around frequently but stay in city centers are a large part of our customer base. This is the first time that customers will be freed from being tethered at home from their fixed line and have the function of VoIP in a mobile environment,” Kerry told Forbes.

Ritz did not provide a number of people who use the Wi-Fi phones because Vonage is currently seeking an IPO, but he predicts that the low rates offered for service—$14.25 for unlimited calls within the United Kingdom and Ireland—will demand new pricing dynamics for the market, according to Forbes.

Vonage currently owns the home VoIP space in the United States with 3.9 million residences employing the service in January 2006, Forbes reports.

For related news coverage, read Cisco Teams Up With RIM, Intel, Nokia for Wi-Fi Telephony.

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