MagicJack is set to release a new box that will connect and route cellphone-based VoIP calls (without special software), using other cell provider's towers (without permission, mind you), offering service inside your house for just $40 a year.
According to the AP, MagicJack feels their within the realm of legality because wireless spectrum licenses don't extend to personal homes. The wireless MagicJack requires a broadband connection. and comes bundled with a GSM-based SIM card (which mostly means AT&T and T-MO handsets only). When the SIM is inserted, the phone will require a one time sync up, then will automatically connect to the device when its within range (3000 ft.). And while the cell towers are used to establish connections, the actual calls are VoIP-based.
Legal issues aside, I'm still not entirely sure what advantages this has over a standard MagicJack. Will it really reduce cell bills that much? Is constantly swapping SIM cards really worth it? I guess it's a super-easy way to make VoIP calls around the house. And if you have an extra GSM phone laying around anyways, it could be easier than using a standard cordless phone. [AP]
Photo courtesy of AP/Paul Sakuma