By David Ponce

This is an interesting tidbit floating out of CES this year. Netgear has announced a Skype mobile phone, which would allow you to place free calls (or cheap ones with SkypeOut) whenever a Wifi hotspot in range. Simply insert your Skype username and password as soon as you turn the phone on, and you’re good to go.

It also would work as a regular mobile phone whenever there are no hotspots available.

Go Skype (and Netgear).

There’s no word on price or availability, though you can sign up to be alerted to when it is.

[Netgear Skype Phone] VIA [Gizmologia]

Update: Hrmph… So it looks like I might have jumped the gun on this one. After actually reading the material, it looks as though this phone will not work as a regular cellphone. It only works when there’s a hotspot in range. As Julian in the comments point out, that would actually have been pretty awesome. As it is, it’s only kind of cool


  1. I don’t think that it functions as a normal mobile phone despite your suggestions to the contrary. Netgear’s website makes no mention of this functionality or of CDMA or GSM. If it did it would be a true killer and herald the new era of mobile communications. Maybe in a future release?

  2. I think this product blows hard!

    Wifi is complicated and its not always easy to connect to a wifi spot. As well, Skype isn’t free unless your at a computer. I’m not convinced about this whole Skype revolution until it can be as easy as it is right now for me to call someone.

    And thats my 2 cents

  3. I think Eric is missing the point slightly. This phone could make using Skype as easy as it is right now to call someone (the caveat is there because I have not seen a proper review of the phone’s interface or menu). Think of this as the ‘granmother test’. Would your grandmother use Skype the way it is used today? No, because as it is today you need to sit in front of a pc and few old people are willing do that for a phone call, or set up the pc just to call someone (unless she is a rare old techie bird). Would she use this phone? Yes, probably. I think the real future of a phone like this is to have one that is all of the following GSM/CDMA (mobile phone network) plus wifi (Skype and SIP). GSM when you are in a zone without WIFI or don’t have the access priviledges to the WIFI network, WIFI all the other times and both SIP and SKYPE clients on it so that you can use the two most popular VOIP systems today. That would be an absolute killer!!!!! David, what thinkst thou?

  4. […] It’s pretty clear that to have the ability to use Skype to make calls from your cellphone would rock beyond words. A little while back, for a couple of minutes, it looked like this Netgear phone was it, but that was a false alarm: it only worked in hotspots. But now, a company called VoSKY seems to have created the Magical Golden Bridge, in the shape of the Call Center, a product that allows you to use Skype from any phone (pay phone, home phone, cell phone) to call anyone in the world for a fraction of the regular cost. […]

  5. I am not that impressed with the VoSky since the only advantage it provides is the same as that provided by calling cards such as AT&T or as I live in France “Les Minutes”. You still end up calling a number, in this case your home phone, which if you are abroad can be expensive. Additionally you have the upfront cost of buying the unit as opposed to a pay as you go charge. Admittedly Skype provides good value for money but not astoundingly so when it I compare it to my calling card provider. However you want to see a startling calling plan cheque out (for those non francophones use google’s translation service at ). Free is an broadboad operator in France. Basically they offre all calls to fixed lines in most european countries and to US and Canadian fixed and mobile lines FREE OF CHARGE and they provide the home unit that has a standard telephone socket you can you use your normal phone. This has the traditional operators running scared. Free also bought the only national WIMAX operator in France a little while ago… hmm I see the beginnings of another French Revolution.

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