MD Phone Home

Physician's Money Digest, June2005, Volume 12, Issue 9

How it works:

There's good news for world-classphysician-travelers. Calling home fromfaraway places to check up on Fido or say"hi"to the folks doesn't have to cost youa small fortune anymore. Internet phoneservice provider Vonage (www.vonage.com) is set to launch a wireless fidelity(wi-fi) mobile handset by the end of thisyear. The phones will be designed byUTStarcom (www.utstarcom.com), anemerging leader in the tech industry, andwill allow Vonage customers to makelocal calls while they're on holidayabroad. Wherever travelershave access to wi-fi networks, which areoften referred to as hotspots, they can pickup their phone, dial overseas, and paythe same as a local call. There are twohitches, however; the portable handsetsaren't designed to work outside wi-fizones and, naturally, you have to be aVonage customer to use the service.