MagicJack to Launch Service for Cell Phones

Ymax, the inventor of the magicJack, told attendees at the recent Consumer Electronics Show that it will develop a consumer femtocell that will allow consumers to place cell-phone calls without using their minutes.

The unnamed femtocell will be priced at about $40 and be available during the second quarter, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

Femtocells essentially are routers that allow a user's cell phone to connect to them, as opposed to Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection. Users can place a call on a femtocell via a cell phone, like an ordinary cell-phone tower owned by Sprint, T-Mobile, or another carrier. Verizon, for example, announced its own femtocell in January 2009. Because they use the home's broadband connection as a backhaul, however, a femtocell user doesn't actually access the cell-phone network, saving his or her allotted minutes.

Our PC Fixer clients using magicJack rave about how useful and convenient it is.  Now, magicJack Users will be able to connect to their own magicJack device but also other femtocell-enabled magicJacks at friends' houses and businesses. All the user has to do is come within eight feet of the magicJack one time to register the connection and then talk away within a range of a 3000 square foot house, according to Ymax.

MagicJack's femtocell will work with its existing magicJack service, which costs $19.95 per year. The service originally won a PC Magazine Editor's Choice award (which has been heavily promoted by the company), but subsequent call-center and support problems caused us to lower its rating.

Ymax also said that it would soon announce a standalone version of its technology to compete with Skype.

Courtesy of PC Magazine


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