Press Release Summary:
SIP-enabled F1000 allows users to make calls from anywhere Wi-Fi hot spots exist, domestically and internationally. Handset combines features and functionality of VoIP terminal adapter with cordless telephone. With form factor similar to cellular phone, unit incorporates power management features that enable talk time of 3-4 hr. Unit features capabilities for 3-way calling, call waiting, and call transfer and enables voice processes and IP protocol features.
Original Press Release:
UTStarcom Unveils Its First Portable Wi-Fi Handset
New SIP-Enabled Handset Features Unparalleled Talk and Standby Time When Compared With Competitive Wi-Fi Phones
ALAMEDA, Calif., Jan. 4 -- UTStarcom, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTSI), a global leader in IP-based, end-to-end networking solutions and services, today announced the debut of its F1000 portable Wi-Fi handset for the U.S. market.
In addition, the company also announced today a partnership with Vonage to provide the handset to Vonage customers nationwide beginning in the Spring/Summer 2005. The phone will be on display at the UTStarcom Personal Communications booth (Booth #30306) and Vonage booth (Booth #36163) at the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from January 6-9, 2005.
UTStarcom's F1000 Wi-Fi handset untethers consumers from their traditional phone lines, allowing them to make calls from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi hot spot -- at home, at work, around the town; in airports, coffee shops, and hotels; and even internationally. The F1000 handset, which has received U.S. regulatory approval, provides all the features and functionality of a VoIP terminal adapter together with a standard cordless telephone, but has the advantage of letting the user talk from any available Wi-Fi access point instead of just the base that they have at home. The F1000 features a sleek form factor similar to today's cellular phones, has increased talk and standby times, and is priced significantly lower compared to other models on the market today.
"UTStarcom believes that the features and price point of the F1000 Wi-Fi portable handset will be disruptive in the local telephone service market," said Howard Frisch, product manager, UTStarcom. "Consumers with Wi-Fi access in their home can replace their traditional home phone with the F1000 and start reaping the benefits of wireless VoIP phone service right away. VoIP service providers that have seen the F1000 have been interested in its capabilities and impressed by its competitive pricing. Now they can offer mobile VoIP services with a handset that supports the features they need, at a consumer-based price point."
Unique power management features, combined with an energy efficient design, give the F1000 handset a standby time of up to 80 hours while typical Wi-Fi phones have a standby time of about 8 hours. At three to four hours, talk time is 6 to 8 times longer than the 30-minute talk time of other Wi-Fi phones. And when the battery runs low, the F1000 recharges in only 2 to 3 hours.
The F1000 Wi-Fi portable handset supports a wide variety of VoIP features and functions, based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Service providers can offer high-value call features, such as three-way calling, call waiting, and call transfer, and more, based on the capabilities of their call servers. The F1000 also enables voice processes, including comfort noise generation, voice activity detection, and echo cancellation, as well as IP protocol features such as Real-Time Transfer Protocol (RTP), Session Description Protocol, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and Point-to-Point over Ethernet (PPoE) authentication.
Vonage First to Introduce New Handset
UTStarcom will offer the F1000 through service providers and operators, similar to the way cell phones are offered. Vonage, North America's leading broadband telephony company, will be the first company to offer the new phone as part of their home broadband communications service during 2005.
"UTStarcom and Vonage collaborated closely on the development of this handset to incorporate advanced feature sets and applications that Vonage customers desire. UTStarcom's F1000 Wi-Fi handset offers Vonage subscribers the ability to take advantage of the cost-effectiveness of broadband telephony service, without having to be tethered to a traditional home phone line or modem," said Jeffrey Citron, chairman and chief executive officer for Vonage Holdings Corp. "The consumer-friendly look and feel to UTStarcom's F1000, when compared with other competing Wi-Fi handsets, coupled with its advanced feature set and competitive pricing, made it the obvious choice for introduction to our subscribers."
"Until now, Wi-Fi phones have been considered to be capital equipment that enterprises purchased with a PBX or LAN," said Frisch. "The F1000 is priced and sold as a consumer product. People can buy one, use it like they use a cell phone, and replace it when a more advanced phone comes on the market."
UTStarcom expects that the major markets for the F1000 Wi-Fi portable handset will be North and South America, where many consumers already have Wi-Fi capability bundled into their home computers and can use the handset without having to purchase more equipment.
F1000 Leverages UTStarcom's PAS Expertise
UTStarcom has built on its experience with its Personal Access System (PAS(TM)) solution in China, which was also a disruptive technology, to create a new market segment with the F1000 handset. PAS wireless access network solutions enable network migration from wireline to wireless so service providers can offer consumers mobile wireless voice and data services within a city or community. As of November 2004, the company had more than 36 million PAS subscribers in China alone. The F1000 is designed to leverage UTStarcom's low cost design and manufacturing skills from PAS handsets as well as some power management features originally developed for UTStarcom's PAS handsets to help achieve its long battery life.
In addition, the F1000 benefits from UTStarcom's experience in building Wi-Fi Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and Wi-Fi access points. The company was also able to leverage its extensive experience in high-volume handset manufacturing to achieve a price breakthrough for the F1000.
Pricing and Availability
The F1000 Wi-Fi handset will be available for shipping in the first quarter of 2005. For further information on pricing and availability, contact your regional UTStarcom office.
About UTStarcom, Inc.
UTStarcom is a global leader in IP-based, end-to-end networking solutions and international service and support. The company sells its wireline, wireless, optical and switching solutions to operators in both fast growth and established telecommunications markets around the world. UTStarcom enables its customers to rapidly deploy revenue-generating access services using their existing infrastructure, while providing a migration path to cost-efficient end-to-end IP networks. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Alameda, California, the company has research and design operations in New Jersey, China, and India. UTStarcom is a FORTUNE 1000 company.
For more information about UTStarcom, visit the company's Web site at www.utstar.com.
Web site: www.utstar.com/