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Netspeak WebPhone to dial anywhere

Netspeak is readying a PBX system that will let intranet users dial regular phones online.

NetSpeak is hoping to overcome a critical weakness in the capabilities of Internet phone systems by letting corporate intranet users dial regular telephones online.

Current Internet phones can dial long distance for the cost of a local call, but they can be used only to talk to other Internet phones using the same software. Netspeak says the combination of its WebPhone PBX system and Call Center software--due to ship in August--will overcome that obstacle and let users connected to the system over an intranet to call any phone anywhere.

A WebPhone helper application will also allow users to make calls from within their browsers. This would let users call into a company support center while viewing the company's online documentation, according to Robert Kennedy, Netspeak president and CEO.

Kennedy said he expects the price of the WebPhone PBX to undercut the cost of a traditional PBX system, but the company has not set the final price.

Separately, Netspeak is also beta-testing version 2.0 of its stand-alone WebPhone software for Windows. The upgrade adds offline voice mail, conference calling, and call-transfer capability.

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