Navini to sell Net2Phone's VoIP service

A week after launching into the Wi-Fi market, Net2Phone signs a deal to bring Internet phone calls to wireless-broadband customers.

Wireless broadband equipment maker Navini Networks will begin selling Net phone service later this year, which should promote use of a cheaper way of making phone calls using the unregulated Internet, it said Monday.

Navini will use Net2Phone's Internet telephony technology and services, in the first such partnership between a provider of wireless broadband equipment and a provider of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), according to a Net2Phone spokesman.

Navini will begin selling the equipment and service to its broadband provider customers in the next three months. Net2Phone Senior Vice President Sarah Hofstetter said these broadband providers will likely begin selling phone services by year's end.

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The pact comes at a time when wireless broadband is gaining favor as a way to deliver the high-speed Net to areas usually overlooked because of the enormous expense involved in expanding wired broadband networks. Sprint and other broadband providers are now testing various forms of wireless broadband technology. Some of these areas have only one telephone service provider.

The deal between Navini and Net2Phone is also an example of the growing push by wireless broadband service providers and their equipment suppliers to adopt VoIP technology. Manufacturers of broadband modems are also building Net phoning capabilities.

Navini is the second wireless broadband equipment maker Net2Phone has begun working with. Last week, Net2Phone signed a deal with former Net2Phone parent company IDT to enable IDT customers to make and receive domestic and international phone calls via a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet. Wi-Fi networks have a 300-foot range and are found mostly in homes, cafes and transportation hubs.

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