A Danish company has begun selling a cordless telephone handset that works with Skype and doesn't require a PC.
The DualPhone 3088's base station connects to both a broadband internet connection for Skype calls and a traditional analogue landline connection for making calls over the PSTN (public switched telephone network).
The maker, RTX Products A/S, says it's the first such handset that can connect with Skype without the need for a personal computer to manage the calls. The only requirement for use is that the internet connection is "always on". Connections that time-out after a period of no use are unsuitable, said RTX.
The handset has a colour display on which the current Skype status of contacts is displayed. Users have the option of making a Skype call or landline call to the party when their name is selected. It supports Skype PC calls, SkypeOut, SkypeIn and Voicemail. Full technical specifications can be found at http://dualphone.net/Default.aspx?ID=842.
The phone will be available in Europe through retailers that distribute RTX products and from December 1 at the RTX's online store. It costs €159 (£107).
RTX already sells a Skype-compatible cordless phone that requires a PC and a model that doesn't require a PC and works with voice over IP services that conform to the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) standard but not Skype.