Linksys outlines further partnership plans

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Networking hardware vendor Linksys has outlined plans to team up with more channel partners following its successful foray into wireless VoIP boxes with upstart ISP engin.

Graeme Reardon, Australasian regional manager at Linksys, told CRN the vendor was interested in forming relationships with ISPs that could help it in joint initiatives.

Reardon said Linksys had started to work with resellers. The vendor plans to introduce a VAR program in the next month or so.

"We always used to engage a lot better with some reseller customers," he said. "And we will be releasing an SMB range over the next few months."

No further details were available on the new VAR program.

However, Reardon suggested that Linksys' recent arrangement with new broadband ISP engin hinted at its plans for future partnerships.

The arrangement was to produce a wireless router with two built-in VoIP ports that could be plugged into an analogue phone.

"That [engin arrangement] gives you a wireless telephone, PDA or other devices. You are using that product to go out to the internet," he said.

"[engin] will also be using Linksys as their preferred product set where required. They will be offering Linksys product set through their website."

Linksys has been doing well with its entire wireless range but definitely has an eye to wireless opportunities in IP telephony, Reardon claimed.

"We have a joint product sales agreement with engin. We are using them to, because of Linksys and Sipura, go through their hardware offerings into retail and wholesale," he said.

The hardware vendor in April acquired Sipura Technology, a company it claims has "strong engineering expertise" in voice networking. Consumer VoIP may be a particular focus, Linksys has suggested.

"Our official position is that Linksys is talking to as many ISPs as possible," another Linksys spokesperson said in a statement. "ISPs in Australia will ship fully-featured DSL routers with voice ports as a means of differentiation."

Reardon said Linksys  -- a division of Cisco Systems -- had achieved 40 to 42 percent share of the VoIP, Ethernet and wireless market in the US since partnering with broadband phone company Vonage and shipping its first VoIP ports.

"They have more than doubled that, so it's the fastest growing product line in Linksys' history," he said.



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