Sprint Nextel’s formerly local division Embarq, has introduced its eGo home phone, a DECT 6.0 IP handset manufactured by Vtech to challenge VoIP leaders Comcast and Vonage. The company was formed under the leadership of Dan Hesse, who saw the future in converged communications, and was escalated to Sprint Nextel's CEO position late last year. The company offers triple (and quadruple) play service bundles in 19 US states, maintaining its alliance with Sprint and partnering with DirecTV.
Embarq now embarks upon what looks to be competition with top VoIP providers Comcast, and Vonage by offering a fully-featured 3G home phone to show off their service.
The unit is based upon the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) standard profile 6.0, which was recognized by the ITU as fulfilling the IMT-2000 requirements for a 3G standard. Instead of using the 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz bands, It utilizes the 1.9 GHz band to connect, so the potential for interference with other wireless devices is nullified.
Maufactured by VTech, the Embarq eGo offers visual voicemail, news and information updates directly on the handset, personal profiles with associated phonebooks, and local phone directories with keyword and ZIP code search functionality.
To use the phone, both a broadband connection and a subscription to Embarq's voicemail service are required. The company currently offers a $50 per month broadband and voicemail package. Comcast's cheapest package which includes its Digital Voice VoIP service is $99 per month. To add VoIP to any existing package adds $33 to subscription plans. Vonage, which can be used over most broadband connections -- including Verizon FiOS -- starts at 24.99 per month.
The eGo handset can be purchased online for $129.95 or in Embarq stores for $99.95.
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