Linksys launches IP communications platform for SMBs

Cisco's Linksys division announced Monday a hosted IP communications platform for small businesses that offers voice, video, data networking, business applications, and high speed Internet access through a single connection from a service provider.

Called Linksys One, the initiative includes an IP Phone, an integrated switch and router, and a voice gateway, Linksys officials said.

Martin De Beer, vice president and general manager for Linksys Small Business Systems Business Unit, said Linksys One is a plug-and play system where customers can use one converged services infrastructure for telephony, data networking, and business applications.

Customers can arrange for the service through a service provider. "Linksys One provides support and technology for all the needs of a small busineess -- IP phones, PCs, faxes, as well as a security concerns," De Beer said.

The Linksys PHM12000 Color Manager IP Phone is SIP-based and includes a speakerphone voice mail and an application developer toolkit.

The SVR3000 Services Router includes a 16-port LAN switch, which can host e-mail services, a firewall, and a VPN. It also provides power to all the attached devices, including phones using Power over Ethernet.

A VGA2000 Analog Voice Gateway integrates with traditional public telephone system technologies to connect analog phones and fax machines into the Linksys One network.

With the launch, Linksys is attempting to offer an integrated, low-cost IP communications system, says Michael Howard, a principal analyst with Infonetics Research. "This [product launch] seems to be a convenient, all-in-one package for small business," said Howard, listing the voice, router and security features of the offering.

Prices for the IP phone, router and the gateway list for US$229, US$1, US195, and US$279, respectively.

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