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Fall VON 2005 Report

Skype Phones

In Skype phone news, both Giant and RTX Telecom have some products in the works. Giant is also the manufacturer of the Olympia Skype DUALPhone, which was designed by RTX Telecom. Giant was showing a number of interesting products including its updated version of the Skype DUALphone, the AP 1000 (Figure 11).

Figure 11: Giant AP 1000 Skype phone
(click image to enlarge)

Figure 11 shows three packaging variants (even one with a GE logo!) of what is essentially the Skype DUALphone with a color LCD screen and some other product tweaks. Like the existing DUALphone, it is DECT-based, so won't conflict with 2.4 GHz equipment. It's due out in Q1 2006 at "about" the same price point as the current model, which will put it in the $140 range.

Giant was also showing a number of VoIP cordless phones operating in the 1.8, 1.9, 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands. They also had a Skype Compatible USB dongle that is a cordless Skype earpiece-type headset using DECT instead of Bluetooth to provide untethered operation. No pricing or availability (other than sometime in 2006) on that one.

Finally, a stop at RTX Telecom's small booth got me a quick demo of the PORT@Lphone (Figure 12 and 13).

Figure 12: RTX Telecom PORT@L phone
(click image to enlarge)

Figure 13: RTX Telecom Port@Lphone closeup
(click image to enlarge)

This Port@Lphone consists of a SIP gateway and an "enhanced" DECT cordless handset, complete with color screen. As you can see from the shot of the demo handset in Figure 13, the system is intended to not only provide VoIP service, but access to web-based content, too. While the model I saw had a SIP 2.0 stack in it, a version with Skype embedded isn't too hard to imagine and just might surface sometime next year.