Linksys/Skype Team up for Cordless Handset

Cisco's Linksys division is working with Skype, one of the leading global voice over Internet (VoIP) communications companies, to market a new cordless phone that is designed to take free Skype Internet phone calling off the computer and to put it into the hands of callers.

As of today over 3,000 online and high street retailers throughout North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be selling the new CIT2000 Internet telephony kit. The kit provides callers with a convenient alternative to making free Skype calls while sitting at their computer, giving them the freedom to make free Skype calls wherever they are in their home or office.

The CIT200 is the first Skype-enabled product bundled with a Skype starter pack. Featured in the CIT2000 are a handset, a charger and a USB base station that plugs into a computer's USB port. The handset lets callers take their free Skype calling off the PC and into other rooms using the compatible USB base station.

The handset can read and display a caller's Skype contact list on its built-in illuminated display, letting callers know which of their Skype contacts are online and ready to be called. The handset also supports SkypeOut, SkypeIn and Skype Voicemail, which let callers make and receive calls to family, friends and colleagues using traditional landlines or cell phones, and send and receive messages up to 10 minutes long.

Skype states that its present user numbers have recently jumped to more than 170,000 new users signing up everyday. Skype is available in 27 languages and since its launch in August 2003 has been downloaded more than 180 million times in 225 countries and territories. Fifty-eight million people are registered to use Skype's free services, with more than 3 million people using Skype simultaneously at any one time. The company does stress that Skype is not a telephony replacement service and cannot be used for emergency calling.The estimated street price for the new handset, according to Skype, is US$129.99.

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