Zoom Unveils VoIP Products And Services

From the press release:

The first product in the ZoomTel line is the ADSL X5v, which is typically bundled with Global Village phone service to provide ADSL users with easy-to-use VoIP “voice over the Internet” phone calling capabilities with unmatched flexibility and choice.  By enabling VoIP using “plain old telephones” and offering a commitment-free VoIP phone service, Zoom provides consumers with a new, low-cost way to call anywhere in the world and an easy, low-risk way to discover the revolutionary benefits of VoIP.

Zoom’s flagship product, the ADSL X5v with bundled Global Village phone service, provides out-of-the-box free VoIP to VoIP service and “pay as you go” service to virtually any phone in the world, with no monthly minimum service charge.  The X5v effectively gives a telephone a two-line capability, allowing customers to make VoIP or regular calls over their DSL phone line.

“Voice over IP is a revolutionary technology with superior features and dramatic cost savings; but the traditional switched phone network continues to hold some important advantages in a number of situations, including power outages and emergencies,” said Frank Manning, Zoom’s President. “In addition, most people are comfortable with the styling, variety, and features of conventional phones.  Our approach is to dramatically enhance the power of those phones using VoIP, while letting them also easily make calls using the traditional phone network.  With Zoom, people can think of Voice over IP as a free second phone line.”

“Pre-shipment orders for the X5v have exceeded both our expectations and our experience with other products,” said Terry Manning, Zoom’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We are particularly encouraged not only by the large number of sample orders, but also by the quality and diversity of the customers placing those orders and the potential that we believe this has for future volume sales.”

The X5v’s unique TelePort phone port lets a user plug in one or more corded or cordless phones and then use those phones for VoIP calls or for conventional calls, including 911 emergency dialing, local or toll-free number dialing, or dialing when power fails.  Phones connected to the X5v can originate or answer both VoIP and conventional phone calls using the same phone line that’s used for ADSL service.

The X5v includes powerful broadband data features including an ADSL modem, a router, a gateway, an SPI and NAT firewall, a 4-port Ethernet switch, and a USB port.  It is compatible with any operating system that supports an Internet browser, including Windows, Macintosh and Linux systems.

Global Village VoIP Phone Service

When sold in retail stores, ZoomTel products include Zoom’s Global Village VoIP phone service. Global Village provides a rich set of enhanced calling features, including free VoIP calls to Global Village customers and to many other VoIP users around the world.  Global Village also offers low-cost long distance calling to phones connected to the public switched phone network. Unlike other VoIP phone services that only connect IP calls to the public phone network for a monthly fee, Global Village service offers both pay-as-you-go and flat-rate monthly billing plans. Global Village service also provides a free chat room for conference calls with up to four other Global Village customers.  Global Village can be accessed through an easy-to-use Web browser interface that makes its advanced features like call forwarding and conferencing easy to use, and which allows users to review complete records of incoming and outgoing phone calls in real-time.

Global Village service is offered worldwide.  Customers using credit cards will be charged in dollars, UK pounds, or euros, depending on their country.

Pricing and Availability

The X5v Model 5565 is available in the U.S. and many other countries from computer products retailers and Internet service providers.  The estimated retail price for the U.S. model is $99.