VOCAL's Skype Analog Telephone Adaptor

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VOCAL's Skype Analog Telephone Adaptor

VOCAL Technologies, Ltd. (www.vocal.com), a developer of software and hardware solutions for the communications industry, gave me an exclusive on their new line of analog telephone adapters (ATAs) that will support Skype Internet phone service, extending Skype service to any conventional or cordless phone. Although this is a Skype-compatible ATA, the ATA still relies on the host PC to run Skype. So this is not a "standalone" Skype ATA device (Skype client embedded into the ATA) which many Skype users have been clamoring for.

However, I did contact the PR person representing VOCAL Technologies and asked, "How does this ATA connect to the Skype software running on the PC? Is it over the LAN or via USB?" This is important since I'd prefer an ATA to sit on the network rather than be connected to the PC using USB. Sitting on the network opens up the possibility that the Skype ATA could be configured in a redundant configuration. For instance, the VOCAL Skype ATA could in theory communicate over IP to two or more PCs running the Skype client. I don't know if they have that capability since I haven't been able to get in direct touch with VOCAL Technologies to ask this question.

In any event, in addition to Skype service, S-Link compatible ATAs will be capable of simultaneously supporting up to four other traditional VoIP service providers, as well as the use of FXO ports for local calls. S-Link is also able to extending this multi-provider service to allow any phone in the home to access Skype, VoIP, or local calls.

The VOCAL S-Link ATA collaborates with Skype software running on a host PC to provide ATA functionality through the Skype network.Skype dialing and navigation is performed using VOCAL’s patent-pending digit-based name matching procedures with audible feedback.

“This product leverages the existing Skype infrastructure for those users who already have accounts and legitimizes the Skype platform as not only a VoIP provider but a solid competitor to traditional carriers,” said Ben Hoover, with VOCAL. “One major benefit of S-Link solution is its ability to utilize existing telephones in the home instead of requiring expensive high-quality computer headsets to access VoIP services.”

VOCAL will introduce Skype-L functionality as a standard feature to the VOCAL line of ATAs beginning in February 2006.

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