Yahoo, Siemens enter VoIP partnership

Siemens cordless phones to work with Yahoo Messenger with Voice, allowing free or inexpensive VoIP calls.

Yahoo and Siemens Communications announced an agreement Wednesday designed to allow people using Siemens' Gigaset cordless telephones to make free PC-to-PC calls and inexpensive calls to traditional and mobile phones.

Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices, a wholly owned Siemens subsidiary, is planning to launch its Gigaset M34 USB adapter in the third quarter, which will enable its Gigaset cordless telephones to work with Yahoo Messenger with Voice.

The alliance aims to give Gigaset customers the ability to make and receive free PC-to-PC voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, calls using Yahoo Messenger with Voice. The offering also aims to allow users to make inexpensive VoIP calls with their Gigaset phones to fixed-line and mobile phones.

Yahoo, along with a number of Internet companies, from eBay to Google to America Online, are taking steps toward offering VoIP to their customers or are exploring the option.

Under the partnership, Gigaset customers would also have the capability to access their Yahoo Messenger contact lists and online presence of those contacts. The deal is Yahoo's latest effort to get more deeply involved in the telecommunications business with handset makers and cell phone carriers.

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, for example, is scheduled to give a keynote speech at the Thomas Weisel Partners Internet & Telecom conference Wednesday morning via Webcast.

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