Monday, January 8, 2007

Panasonic phone provides free calls.
(This is a preview, not a review.)

At the Consumer Electronics Show on Sunday, Panasonic debuted its Globarange series of hybrid 2-Line cordless phones that can provide free VoIP calls between Globarange phones around the world.

Panasonic will market the phones in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong, UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Austria and Russia (but strangely not in Japan, Panasonic's homeland).

The company hopes Globarange phones will establish a "global community" of callers. The phones won't be very important for calling within the US, where long-distance is just about free; but if Tia Teresa in Mexico City or Grossvater Max in Berlin can be convinced to get the phones, and broadband service, it might work.

Panasonic says the phones are easy to set up, work without a computer, and you can talk as long as you want to any other Globarange phone user.

Panasonic's two Globarange phones are both Hybrid 2-line models, which allow calls to be made and received via both the VoIP line and regular landline connection from any of up to eight cordless handsets. The Globarange phones provide a solution for consumers who want to add VoIP service but do not want to lose the advantages of their current landline service such as 911 access or fax compatibility.

The base units of the Globarange phones provide both a standard telephone jack for regular phone service, as well as an Ethernet jack to connect to Broadband service. Simply connect the Globarange base to Broadband, and Globarange calls can be made in minutes. Globarange phones do not require a PC, and they operate like any other phone.

Other features of both models include Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology for maximum security and minimum interference, Call Waiting Caller ID, handset speakerphones, eight-handset expandability, large three-line backlit LCD, and a tri-color incoming call-status indicator light.

The Globarange BB-GT1500B with one handset will have a list price of $99.95. The Globarange BB-GT1540 with digital answering system and dual keypads will list for $129.95. Both are due in the Spring.


Anonymous said...

My two cents' worth: this will flop like Panasonic's video phones.

Anonymous said...

If the phone does standard sip voip AND standard pots phone line then this will be a winner ,but it doesn't look good as there calling it Globarange to Globarange user, which will mean junk. Try again panasonic :(