A Cell-ebratory time for VoIP?

Hung up on your cell phone? Some think VoIP could be the future of telephone communication.

Currently, voice-over Internet protocol is restricted by spotty Internet access and mobile carriers protecting their interests, but it has one huge factor in its favor: It’s inexpensive.

According to a recent Yankee Group report, more than 5 percent of Americans already use VoIP as their primary home phone. And for you Apple lovers, VoIP has become available for the phone-contract-free iPod Touch, making it functionally as much a phone as the regular iPhone, according to Portfolio.com.

There must be a wireless hotspot handy, however, and they are far from ubiquitous at present.

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But that could soon change. One possibility is that wireless internet access may come to be considered a basic public utility-something any modern city provides as part of its infrastructure.