By Cindy Waxer
TMCnet Contributing Editor
Faced with limited budgets, today’s small businesses are increasingly turning to VoIP solutions such as Skype (News - Alert) in order to save on long-distance phone charges. Unfortunately, the use of such applications in office environments has been somewhat limited since most Skype phone solutions require a wired USB connection directly to a PC.
Enter TRENDnet. A manufacturer of wired and wireless networking solutions, the company has just introduced its latest VoIP innovation for small businesses, the ClearSky Bluetooth VoIP Conference Phone Kit (TVP-SP4BK) for Skype. This conference phone kit is designed specifically to enable hands-free voice conferencing for small businesses anywhere in the office using a wireless Bluetooth connection.
Skype, founded in 2003 and now an E-Bay-owned company, allows users to place and receive encrypted calls to other Skype users or regular landline and mobile phones over a high-speed internet connection for a fraction of the cost of traditional telephony. Fortunately, TRENDnet's conference phone kit eliminates the need for wires by using a long-range Bluetooth connection, so businesses can make high-quality, echo-free conference calls anywhere in the office.
The ClearSky kit includes the conference phone base unit and a Bluetooth 2.0 adapter with a Class 1 Radio. Together they create a long-range Bluetooth connection that limits potential interference in the office environment and helps maintain a reliable connection for seamless voice clarity. By simply plugging the included USB Bluetooth 2.0 Adapter into a Skype-enabled laptop or desktop the conference phone can be placed anywhere within 100 meters (328ft.). The conference phone's integrated LCD screen and touchpad offer easy control and viewing of Skype contacts, call history, status and SkypeOut credit balance. This allows users to place and receive calls remotely without being next to their PC.
"To save on international calling many of our small business customers are using Skype as a supplement to their traditional PSTN phone systems," stated Heath Gregory, marketing director for TRENDnet. "The conference phone kit is part of a complete suite of products we plan to launch in the coming weeks to make Skype(TM) a practical VoIP solution for users at home or the office."
Cindy Waxer is a Toronto-based freelance journalist specializing in business and technology. She has written for publications including TIME, Fortune Small Business, Business 2.0, Computerworld, Canadian Business, and Workforce Management. To see more of her articles, please visit Cindy Waxer’s columnist page.