Linksys Targets SMB

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Linksys Targets SMB

In a recent blog I predicted Linksys would target the SMB market with a plug-and-play SOHO /SMB IP-PBX. This bit of Linksys news comes close to that prediction .The Linksys division of Cisco is teaming up with VoIP provider engin to target the small-to-medium (SMB) space.

Under the agreement, engin will start reselling Linksys routers with phone ports. The devices include the Wireless-G Router (WRT54GP2) and Wired Broadband Router (RT31P2) which have two phone ports and Quality of Service (QoS) features.

Still, this doesn't meet my SMB threshold of at least 4 phone ports. Also, these routers are simply configured to work with a SIP-based ITSP, such as a Vonage, Packet8, or in this case engin. Thus, there is no intelligent telephony switching built into these routers to perform your traditional PBX features such as extension-to-extension dialing, call transfer (to an extension), etc. Of course the ITSP could provide this functionality and provide a Web interface for configuration, but I'd like to see a SOHO/SMB IP-PBX that you can configure locally on the box itself.

Priced at $219 for the wired and $249 for the wireless version the routers will be made available to engin’s authorised retailers, resellers and wholesale channels eventually.

According to VoIP News Australia, the deal comes about as the result of Cisco’s acquisition of Sipura Technology in April. Engin’s customers were using Sipura Technology’s SPA-2000 products.

Victor Tsao, co-founder, senior vice president and general manager at Linksys said, “Our relationship with engin will help Linksys to replicate the success we’ve had in the consumer VoIP space in the United States rapidly in Australia. Working with engin as our launch partner in Australia will enable us to both to provide customers with added value to their broadband connection and more features than traditional phone service.”

Ilkka Tales, Chief Executive Officer, engin, said, “We are pleased to work with Linksys and continue the tradition of offering the best technology platform to our customers. This alliance will bring greater value to our customers as they will be able to benefit from the additional networking features, such as wireless and router functionality, that the new product bundle will offer.”

This initiative will result in both companies actively promoting voice-over-IP (VoIP) product and services to consumers and small and medium businesses (SMBs), said a company statement.

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