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November 14, 2005

Cisco’s Linksys announces hosted VoIP for SMEs

Cisco Systems Inc's Linksys division has announced a hosted VoIP offering targeted at SMEs, following chief executive John Chambers' recent comments that Cisco would focus on the growing SME market.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Linksys One Hosted Small Business System is being touted by the company as an affordable platform that would replace separate Internet, phone and computer network services with a single hosted service.

Linksys is hoping SME customers would be willing to pay $62 per user per month for the convenience of using a single supplier, rather than having to manage and pay for separate systems. The company also touted security and quality-of-service benefits from its new hardware.

The Linksys One hardware line includes a 16-port services router (SRV3000), SIP-based color manager IP phone (PHM12000) and analog VoIP gateway (VGA2000).

Linksys One would be available from service providers and VARs with set-up possible in less than one hour, Linksys said.

In the US, MCI plans to offer a national hosted VoIP service based on the Linksys One platform, while airBand Communications and NeoNova Network Services Inc plan on regional coverage. IP Systems Pty Ltd plans to offer the service in Australia.

Linksys One is the seventh Cisco Advanced Technology under the Hosted Small Business Systems, or Hosted SBS, business group, which Cisco expects will grow to a $1bn business.

Linksys One would become available in unspecified US regions during the first quarter of next year, with national deployment slated for summer. Asia Pacific rollouts would begin in the second quarter in Australia. And the service would come online in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in the latter half of 2006.

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