ISP Wanadoo has joined the voice-over-IP fray with the launch of a new service for making inexpensive phone calls.
For £4 per month, the service, called Wanadoo Wireless and Talk, gives customers unlimited calls to any UK landline at no additional charge during evenings and weekends. Calls to other Wireless and Talk users are free at all times of day.
To use the service, customers need a broadband Internet connection and a hub called a Livebox which plugs into a standard telephone.
In coming months the France Telecom-owned ISP also plans to roll out additional services using the Livebox including one intended to replace landline connections, video telephony and video-on-demand.
Wanadoo UK's CEO Eric Abensur said in a statement that as broadband becomes increasingly widespread, people will find it "second nature" to use a variety of communications services in the home.
Forty-six percent of Wanadoo's approximately 9.4 million Europeans customers have broadband, the company says.
Yesterday ISP America Online said it will launch a similar voice-over-broadband service within a month while in January Vonage launched its VoIP service in the UK. Also fellow VoIP player Skype, which provides the ability to make free calls over the Web from laptops and PDAs, recently said it will extend those capabilities to wireless LANs in several locations across the UK.