VoIP in the Palm of your Hand
Anyuser Global’s tiny VoIP IMphone flash drive brings voice communications to any PC. Scheduled to go on sale in Japan this August, the unit streamlines installation into a USB plug and play solution. All the VoIP software and circuitry is packed right inside along with 64MB of flash memory. That means PC vagabonds can use it on any machine with an Internet connection – at Internet cafes, friends houses, conducting “Alias” style international intrigue. Not bad for a unit the size of a packet of gum.
Korea based Anyuser Global is an IP provider with portals in Japan, the US, Korea, Hungary and India. Stateside Anyuser markets IP to IP calling plus patent pending CyberTelco IPN (Internet Phone Numbering) allowing users to keep their regular phone number as their IP number as well. Launched in Japan in Feb. 2003 they list their strategic partners here as Hikari Tsushin, NTT and NCR.
IM phone users will need a prepaid plan from Anyuser to access the IP phone
functionality [.pdf]. Rates are pretty standard for IP here; three minute domestic calls to fixed line phones are 7.9 yen. A one-minute call to a mobile is 17.4 yen. A call to the US, 8 yen per minute. The unit
costs 3970 yen with separate prepaid/monthly connection fees. IP telephony in Japan use has jumped 57.2 percent in the past year according to a newreport from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The Ministry found that for fiscal 2004 ending in March of this year, IP telephony subscribers totaled 8.3 million.