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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cell Phones Reach for Zero

Here is a bizarre idea: a company that offers all-you-can-eat voice and data service across a network of data lines and cell infrastructure it does not own. Meet Las Vegas-based Zer01 Mobile. The company has developed its own VoIP system that runs not only on the landed Internet, but on the mobile Web as well. Details are hazy.

More will come out at the coming Cable Telecommunications and Internet Association trade show in Las Vegas early April. But the buzz on the Zer01 is compelling: The product will offer all the voice, data and cell usage a customer wants for $70 a month. That's right, $70, with nary a contract or commitment.

New Company Likely to Raise Ire

The system will emulate landed broadband phones by running on data networks and not phone systems. And Zer01 is almost certain to raise traditional carrier ire.

But, still, in these cost-conscious times, expect value-hungry cell phone users to take this product seriously: Since who really has the money these days to throw away on pricey data plans?

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