By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Hewlett Packard has announced it will team up with voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telecommunications provider, Engin, and Intel to offer a range of desktop and notebook PCs with built-in Engin VoIP hardware.

The new range of Engin-enabled PCs will enable users to connect a regular phone directly to their PC for cheap internet voice calls, eliminating the need for external VoIP hardware such as Engin’s Voice Box.

HP’s new DX and NX series PCs featuring the technology will be released this month through the brand’s existing channel and reseller partners.

“What is becoming increasingly apparent is the growing popularity of internet phone calling and the massive savings it’s delivering to people across Australia,” said Engin CEO, Ilkka Tales.

Since launching the company two years ago, Tales has seen Engin grow to 50,000 customers who collectively make over 15 million minutes of calls per month.

“We know from our customer feedback that businesses are making savings of up to 75 per cent on their phone bills by using Engin,” he said.

“This collaboration by Engin, HP and Intel – each market leaders in their categories – will widen the accessibility of VoIP-enabled devices and help make inexpensive phone calls an increasing reality for all Australians.”

HP expects small- to medium-size businesses will be the primary market for the new PCs.

“Today’s announcement provides easy access to an increasingly popular technology and removes costs from this essential business process without sacrificing quality,” said HP Australia group manager – PSG commercial products, Paul Robson.

“The collaboration with Engin and Intel reflects HP’s commitment to the delivery of innovative solutions that help Australia’s small- and medium-sized businesses maximise the returns from their IT investment.”

HP has also entered a partnership with Vodafone to provide built-in 3G telephony hardware in selected HP notebooks for mobile internet over Vodafone’s network.

The built-in 3G hardware means consumers will not need to use a bulky external PCMCIA card and with an aerial like with Telstra and iBurst solutions.