At the International Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, MagicJack demonstrated a device that will let users make VoIP calls using a GSM phone.
The company has already sold to the public a unit that uses conventional desk phones to provide service through a PC. With the newer product, which is scheduled for release sometime in the second quarter this year, your phone jack will be replaced by a mini-GSM base station, also known as a femtocell. All GSM phones from any GSM carrier will then be enabled to connect with your femtocell to make VoIP calls anywhere in the United States and Canada.
MagicJack, like many other VoIP service providers, will send calls over the IP network in lieu of the public phone network, so your phone service will cost less. Right now, the traditional MagicJack unit is available for roughly $40 USD, and it includes free service for a year, and $20 each year for all years after the first. This includes phone calls made to other MagicJack users in most countries of the world, as well as calling conventional lines. You can also currently make calls to cell phones, local or long distance, from a standard MagicJack-equipped phone. The company has stated that the femtocell rates will be the same as standard rates.
The MagicJack device being sold now is a bit longer than a box of matches, and it has a USB connection with a phone jack on the other end. You plug the USB connector into a port on your PC, load the proper software one time only, and then it uses the processor, power and broadband connection of the computer to make and receive calls. Their femtocell unit will use a PC connection as well, but it will allow users to make cell phone calls from the unit, not just wired phone calls.
The original MagicJack device provides fairly consistent service, with connections close to those achieved on landline calls. If you are working on your computer while talking on your phone run through MagicJack, sometimes you can hear background noise. It also takes two tries occasionally to get a dial tone on your traditional phone when using a MagicJack. But these aren’t really bothersome enough to make many users hang up on the $20 per year cost for calls anywhere. In addition, if you have family or friends overseas, they can purchase a MagicJack in the United States, activate it with a local area code, and use it overseas with that same number, making calls to them much more affordable.
There are already phone service carriers exploring femtocell use in efforts to improve their coverage inside the homes and businesses of subscribers, and to ease the strain that so many calls cause on their networks. The femtocell was designed so that it can work like a cell base station, within a home or business, to carry calls over your broadband connection rather than over the carrier’s network.
The MagicJack femtocell will allow its users to skip over mobile operators entirely. You can use it with any GSM phone, locked or unlocked, on any band. This includes all types of phones, including the popular Apple iPhone, even though this phone is usually locked into one carrier. The designers at MagicJack expect that most customers will make femtocell calls with older phones that they don’t currently use. The range of the femtocell can cover a home or business office that is 3,000 square feet in size.
Written by Daniel Offer - Daniel writes articles for the instant messenger Chit Chat for Facebook.Chit Chat is an application which allows people to use Facebook Chat from their computer like a regular instant messenger.