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RealTime IT News

NetZero Dials Up VoIP

United Online , which offers low-cost Internet service under the NetZero and Juno brands, has launched a Voice over IP service that works over dial-up and broadband connections.

"We believe consumers should not have to have broadband Internet access in order to enjoy the price savings and feature content of Internet phone calling," Mark Goldston, United Online CEO, said in a statement.

Scott Matulis, a spokesman for the Woodland Hills, Calif., company, said the service uses "proprietary technology that enables us to make NetZero Voice work over dial-up."

United Online is not discussing the specifics of the technology.

NetZero Voice will feature free computer-to-computer calling and paid plans that range up to $14.95 per month. The plans include features such as Caller ID, call waiting, call blocking and voicemail.

The company believes simplicity will be another selling point. It does not require an adaptor, a router or any other hardware, and there are no startup fees.

United Online competes against America Online (AOL) and others. AOL, the online arm of Time Warner , announced its own VoIP service earlier this year.

The VoIP launches come as researchers predict that the number of U.S. VoIP subscribers will jump from 3 million this year to 27 million by 2009.