By Martin Vedris
SYDNEY: Consumer uptake of VOIP phones has not been outstanding, but communications technology distributor Mitron, the exclusive Australian distributor for SMC Network’s WSKP100 Wi-Fi Skype Phone, believes mobility is key to the success.
Mitron managing director, Michael Boorne, said that un-coupling a Skype enabled phone from the PC and making it mobile may be the key factor that finally attracted consumers to this free telephony solution.
“This handset allows users to access their Skype account via any internet-enabled wireless access points, providing complete mobility, unlike other devices that must connect with a computer,” Boorne told Current.com.au today.
“Skype claim to have over three million registered users in Australia; now one user might have four Skype accounts, you don’t know, but that’s a lot considering that VOIP is only in the hundreds of thousands. So you’ve got three million Skype users and until now you had to sit in front of your PC to be Skyping and we think there’s a big market for not being chained to your PC but being able to sit on the balcony and talk on Skype, walk around the house and talk on Skype, take your phone with you to use it in the office, use it at home, use it in airport lounges. So it is sort of de-coupling it from your computer and I think that will generate a lot more interest.”
SMC Networks, a global technology provider of LAN hardware, broadband connectivity devices and SOHO/Home wireless products, has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Mitron to launch the SMC WSKP100 Wi-Fi Phone for Skype to the Australian market. According to a company statement today, Mitron were chosen by SMC because of their thorough understanding of the internet landscape in Australia, their depth of contacts within the local channel and their expertise with communication enabling devices.
“This product is a great solution for customers looking to take advantage of low cost, convenient phone calls, and we are very pleased that Mitron will partner with us to spearhead the Australian distribution,” said SMC Networks Asia Pacific general manager Becky Ho.
“They have excellent credentials within this industry and we are looking forward to a very successful relationship with this product.”
Boorne said the agreement with SMC Networks would allow his company to enhance its product offerings.
“Its (the phone’s) prospects look bright in Australia, particularly as connectivity becomes a necessity. Consumers are increasingly tapping the potential of wireless networking drawn by its convenience, flexibility, as well as being compelled by the rising need for mobility. This innovative and cost-effective product will meet these changing needs,” he said.
SMC’s WiFi Phone is Skype certified and allows users to access their Skype account via any free WiFi connection that does not require browser authentication and uses the 802.11 standard, allowing free calls to Skype users anywhere in the world and enabling calling to ordinary landlines and mobile phones using low cost SkypeOut.