Verizon's Kitchen Phone Dials VOIP
The cordless phone that doubles as an end point for various FiOS services, is really meant to accommodate Verizon's upcoming VoiceWing VOIP service for FiOS, according to Verizon's director of consumer product development, Mike Naggar. He says VoiceWing will become part of the FiOS services lineup sometime in 2007. (See Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS and Verizon Debuts New Device.)
The device, Verizon suggests, might be well placed in the kitchen or den, where it would connect to the home network via an Ethernet or WiFi connection. (See Verizon Dresses FiOS for CES Appeal.)
From the Verizon One, you'll have access to email, voicemail, calendars, and address books. You can get selected Web-based content like whatever movie listings, news, and weather info Verizon allows. But try reading a friend's blog or looking up something on the public Internet and you're out of luck.
"We have not enabled a full browser," Naggar tells Light Reading. "We built interfaces to the services we want to deliver." [Ed. note: I'm glad they don't build cars.]
Verizon says it plans to add services such as the ability to check traffic reports, order pizza and print movie or airplane tickets.
The latest version of Verizon One runs Media Manager, the FiOS application that manages and routes video, data, music, and photos to networked TVs, set-tops, and PCs in the home. (See Verizon Hones Home Networking .)
The Verizon One originally launched to a limited number of subscribers in June 2005. "You probably didn't hear about it," Naggar says. "We didn't go to mass market with it; we only manufactured about 19,000 units." Verizon isn't saying how many of those actually went into use.
"With the new release, we took the main direction of the company, which is FiOS, and wrapped it around this device," Naggar says. "So it became a sort of media consumption device for the home and it used the same menu systems used in FiOS, so it was the same look and feel but with a touch screen."
Naggar says Verizon support will be able to access and trouble-shoot the Verizon One via a proprietary remote management interface. A plug-in for the popular TR-069 remote management standard (developed by the Broadband Forum ) will be added to the product in the future, Naggar says. (See RBOCs Want Inside Your House.)
Verizon spokesman Bill Kula says the original version of Verizon One costs $199, while no price point has been set for the new FiOS-connected version of the device. Kula says the new price will be "comparable" with the old price, and no monthly service charges will be levied on FiOS customers.
"The business model for this is to reach more broadband consumers with more services," Kula tells Light Reading.
The device is manufactured exclusively for Verizon by Florida-based CPE maker OpenPeak. The company also makes universal remote controls, WiFi bridges, and embedded server software for OEM customers.
Kula says FiOS customers can buy the Verizon One from Verizon stores and Websites this spring.
— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading