MagicJack's next act: disappearing cell phone fees

January 8, 2010

(AP) -- The company behind the magicJack, the cheap Internet phone gadget heavily promoted on TV, has made a new version of the device that allows free calls from cell phones in the home.

It's sure to draw protest from cellular carriers. The new magicJack uses, without permission, for which the carriers have paid billions of dollars for exclusive licenses.

YMax Corp., which is based in Florida, said this week at the International Consumers Electronics Show that it plans to start selling the device in about four months for $40. That's the same price as the original magicJack. Like the original magicJack, it will provide free calls for one year.

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5 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2010
If this reviews well I will be getting one for the office.
not rated yet Jan 08, 2010
They pay for the ability to transmit on those frequencies, not for the singular right to receive on them.
not rated yet Jan 08, 2010
Cell phone companies are huge, and latigious. As one who recently purchased majicjack, I hope that the legal fallout from this doesn't destroy the entire company.
Jan 09, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
not rated yet Jan 09, 2010
They pay for the ability to transmit on those frequencies, not for the singular right to receive on them.

So the magicjack receives part of the licensed spectrum, but only transmits via a local internet connection? I couldnt find anything about it online.
not rated yet Jan 10, 2010
Where's the rest of the press release? Shouldn't there be... some details? I imagine that magicjack is requiring with all FCC requirements... perhaps they're using the same frequency range but a low enough transmission power to be legal?

Wouldn't most people be better off with something like a Wifi Skype phone, that they can use anywhere they have wireless internet access rather than just in their homes? Isn't magicjack already just a VoIP service?

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