WiFi phones are essentially changing the home-phone landscape, bringing cellular portability and cool into a realm that was once owned by the Bells and later folks like Con-Air and Coby (see: $9.99 special phones at your local drug store). Even though seem to be running a little bit behind schedule put forward by telephone industry leaders.
Not surprisingly, WiFi phones like D-Link’s latest, the $249 DPH-540, are essentially home phones with SIP connectivity to most major VOIP carriers (which means you’ll probably be able to use this thing with Vonage or your Cable company’s VOIP system). Surprisingly, this phone looks like a low-end, clamshell cellphone, which means the size and shape of these things will soon rival even the slimmest Motorola.
Best of all, this phone is compatible with PsipTN, which is a public VOIP telephone system that just may take the big boys down a peg or two. Expect firmware upgrades from D-Link in the next year.
Earthlink has plans to offer WiFi phones. Municipalities are also getting into the act, although only Taipei has created a faux-public network call “Taipei Easy Call” to unwire their offices and schools while making – or not making – a buck selling service to private consumers
Mobile carriers should worry about the trend because, if not today, or tomorrow, eventually the alternative s will get enough traction. If they follow the same design-and-feature curve as the cellphone, it won’t be too difficult to imagine a future where these WiFi things had better end up lying side-by-side with the latest CDMA or GSM phones.
D-Link DPH-540 WiFi Phone