, which offers low-cost Internet service
under the NetZero and Juno brands, has launched a Voice over IP
“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
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.