VoIP provider Sipgate is hoping to break into fixed-mobile convergence by offering a SIM-free and unlocked WiFi-capable mobile phone for just £59.
The Pirelli DualPhone DP-L10 is a lightweight tri-band GSM phone which can also be set up for secure access to five wireless hotspots. It can roam automatically, or the user can press a button to choose which service to call out on.
It can take incoming calls on both VoIP and cellular numbers. If the phone's not connected to a hotspot when a VoIP call comes in, Sipgate forwards it to the cellular number. The handset also offers normal mobile phone features such as text messaging, email and browsing.
Pirelli - and yes, that's the Italian tyre company, or rather, its Pirelli Broadband subsidiary - claims a standby time of up to 180 hours, even though the phone by default has its 802.11g WLAN switched on to scan for hotspots.
Of course, there's several big-brand WiFi-capable phones around, such as the Nokia N95 and Sony Ericsson W960 - the snag is you are not going to get them bundled free with a cheap or pre-pay tariff. On top of that, some networks lock their handsets and actively try to stop you putting third-party VoIP clients on-board.
The DP-L10 has been around for a while now, and some of its specs do look a little dated, such as the 300k camera and the lack of Bluetooth.
The price is a new low though, and Pirelli offers fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) software to support it, including an over-the-air provisioning (OTAP) suite for remote management and firmware upgrades.
Sadly, there's no word on whether the phone comes with - or will feature in - the famous Pirelli calendar.
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