U.S. Robotics Inc. announced a new 56K modem last week that lets users make phone calls over the Internet with a regular telephone.
The Internet Call Modem is a standard V.90 56K PCI modem card that comes with software from Net2Phone Inc., a voice-over-IP service provider. The Net2Phone software is installed on a PC that is connected to the Internet via a dial-up connection. Once online, the Net2Phone software is launched, letting a regular telephone plugged into the modem make calls over the Internet via Net2Phone's voice-over-IP net.
The Internet Call Modem is aimed at consumers and home office users who have a single phone line, according to Len Landi, product manager for U.S. Robotics. Telecommuters without a private phone extension to a corporate office could save on long-distance charges by using the modem, he adds.
Although broadband technologies such as DSL and cable modems are making an impact in the remote access market, dial-up modems will still be the most-used method of Internet access for home office users in the U.S. in 2004, representing 55% of telecommuters, according to International Data Corp., a Framingham, Mass., research firm.
The Internet Call Modem, which costs $99.95 and is available now, is the first product from U.S. Robotics since it was spun off as an independent company from 3Com Corp. in June.
U.S. Robotics: www.usr.com