ATLANTA – Internet Service Provider EarthLink will work with Acton Technology to manufacturer wireless fidelity enabled phone handsets for use with the ISP’s growing WiFi network program.
Accton makes networking and communications equipment.
EarthLink is in the process of building several municipal WiFi networks. The WiFi handset is being beta tested in Anaheim, Calif., where EarthLink has a network in place.
The ISP’s strategy is to offer WiFi pone access to its network as an alternative to cellular calling. The handset will include a charger that also acts as a home router for wireless network access by the phone.
"What separates our Wi-Fi phone from others is its ability to work over EarthLink’s municipal Wi-Fi networks," said Steve Howe, EarthLink’s senior vice president of voice. "This means that EarthLink is now bringing cheap phone calls using the Internet to the world of mobile – a major breakthrough. We expect that many people who use cell phones today in our municipal WiFi markets will want to switch to a WiFi phone to take advantage of the significant cost savings."
EarthLink already offers voice over Internet Protocol phone calling through its ISP network.
WiFi calling plans will start at $15 per month.