RealTime IT News

Panasonic, Net2Phone to Develop Internet Phone

To tap into the growth of Internet telephony, Net2Phone Inc. Wednesday formed a partnership with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., parent of electronics maker Panasonic, to provide Internet-based phone service with consumer telephones.

Panasonic will integrate Net2Phone's (NTOP) One Touch voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service into its line of phones. The goal is to create a telephone that can transmit both public switched and IP phone calls, the firms said. No financial terms of the agreement were disclosed.

With the Internet phone hybrid, consumers can access Net2Phone's telephony service without having to log on to the Net2Phone site. After an initial phone registration, users can access Net2Phone's services by pushing the phone's Internet button.

"If you are using an Internet system to send voice, it is inherently cheaper than using traditional analog switching systems," said John McNenney, assistant general manager of consumer telephone products for Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. "We chose to work with Net2Phone because they are known to deliver superior quality VoIP systems for computer users. We saw the opportunity to transfer their technology to ordinary phones."

Net2Phone has formed numerous partnerships recently to expand its telephony services. In addition to Wednesday's deal, the firm entered into a four-year agreement with messaging company ICQ in July to offer ICQ members phone calls via the Internet.