As I predicted, Linksys and Skype would be announcing their new partnership in conjunction with the launch of the Linksys CIT200. I already reviewed the Linksys CIT200 yesterday, but figured I'd share the release in case you missed it. I didn't get the release until late last night, myself.
Linksys and Skype Team Up to Launch New Cordless handset to Drive Internet Phone Calling
New Cordless Internet Phone Provides Convenient Use of Free Skype Internet Calls
IRVINE, CA and LUXEMBOURG Oct. 11, 2005 - Linksys®, a Division of Cisco Systems, Inc., the recognized leading provider of voice, wireless and networking hardware for the consumer, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and small business user, and Skype, the Global Internet Communications Company, today announced their global relationship that will include marketing a new cordless phone that takes free Skype Internet phone calling off the computer and puts it into the hands of callers.
The new Internet Telephony Kit (CIT200) provides callers with a convenient alternative to making free Skype calls while sat at their computer, giving them the freedom to make free Skype calls wherever they are in the home or office. The CIT200 is the first Skype-enabled product bundled with a Skype starter pack.
The CIT200 will be available from 17 October from more than 3,000 online and high street retailers throughout North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The Internet Telephony Kit includes a handset, charger and a USB base station that plugs into a computer's USB port. The handset lets callers take their free Skype calling off the PC and into other rooms using the compatible USB base station. The handset can read and display callers' Skype contact list on its built-in illuminated display, letting callers know which of their Skype contacts are online and ready to be called. The handset also supports SkypeOut, SkypeIn and Skype Voicemail, low-cost premium services that lets callers make and receive calls to family, friends and colleagues using traditional landlines or cell phones, and send and receive messages up to 10 minutes long.
The handset also includes a number of convenient features for Skype users:
Intercom support to between multiple handsets Built-in speakerphone Color LCD panel Up to 120 hour standby time and 10 hour talk time Hold Button Caller ID Address Book that supports up 120 contacts Ringer Off/On switch Navigation button for screen Utilizes voice encryption for high security Headset jack for connecting a headset Uses DECT wireless technology so won't interfere with 2.4GHz phones or devices Single base station supports up to four additional DECT based phones Handset locater button on USB base station Handset is light and comfortable to use (4.23 oz/ 0.12kg)
- Supports call waiting
- Mute button
- 3 available ring tones
"Skype pioneered free Internet phone calls and our rapid growth has recently jumped to more than 170,000 new users signing up everyday. We are sure our new relationship with Linksys will boost this rate further by giving people worldwide the opportunity to cut phone bills and enjoy the convenience of making and receiving free Skype calls on the CIT200 wherever they are, in the home or office, away from their computer," said James Bilefield, Vice President of Business Development for Skype. "We offer Skype on a range of different devices for the convenience of our callers, and teaming up with a world leader in high quality products such as Linksys is an exciting strategic advance. We look forward to releasing a number of great new products with Linksys in the future."
"We both share the same vision of providing our customers with easy to use and affordable solutions that enhance the user's experience of the Internet which is why we believe our new relationship will boost the next stage of global growth in Internet phone calling," said Malachy Moynihan, Linksys Vice President of Engineering and Product Marketing. "Linksys believes Internet phone calling will be one of the most daily used Internet applications by consumers over the next few years. It's our commitment to provide these users with products that enhance their lifestyle and make networking easier."
Pricing and Availability
The CIT200 is rolling out world wide through select major retailers, online retailers and distributors for an Estimated Street Price of $129.99.
Founded in 1988, Linksys, a Division of Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the recognized leader in Voice, Wireless and Ethernet networking hardware for consumer, SOHO and small business users. Linksys is dedicated to making networking easy and affordable for its customers, offering innovative, award-winning products that seamlessly integrate with a variety of devices and applications. Linksys also provides award-winning product support to its customers. For more information, visit www.linksys.com.
About Skype Technologies S.A.
Skype, the Global Internet Communications Company(TM), allows people everywhere to make free, unlimited, superior quality voice calls via its award-winning innovative peer-to-peer software for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Pocket PC platforms. Skype is available in 27 languages and is the fastest growing voice communications offering worldwide. Since its launch in August 2003, Skype has been downloaded more than 180 million times in 225 countries and territories. 58 million people are registered to use Skype's free services, with more than 3 million people using Skype simultaneously at any one time. Skype earns revenue through its premium service offerings, and has a growing network of global affiliates, and a community of developers working with the Skype APIs. Skype Technologies SA is headquartered in Luxembourg and has offices in London and Estonia. www.skype.com
Skype is not a telephony replacement service and cannot be used for emergency calling.