By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Cisco Systems Australia has today launched a new range of 9 routers, modem routers and home networking peripherals as a part of its drive to expand and solidify its home networking offering.

Speaking about the new range, Cisco Systems managing director of Australia and New Zealand consumer products, Toddy Lynton, said it was the company’s largest launch in many years and represented a new direction for the brand.

“We have a differentiated approach to other players,” said Lynton. “We understand there are challenges to consumers and that it can be complicated. We are simplifying the process.

“Cisco has made significant improvements, including new chipsets and a new industrial design. The router is moving to the living room now. It’s not just an office appliance but a central communication tool.”

The Scandinavian-designed products are separated into three categories: the E-Series routers, the X-series modem routers and peripheral accessories including switches, range extenders and adaptors.

The E-Series family of 5 products.

Cisco Australia and New Zealand consumer marketing manager Scott Jackson spoke about the range and the opportunity it presented to retailers.

“The purchase experience is complicated with home networking, but we’re attempting to make that process easier for the consumer,” said Jackson. “We’re encouraging consumers to upgrade from wireless-G to get the features they want, and we want to remove the complexity and fear through innovations in product design.

“It’s a ‘good, better, best’ offer that can be easily communicated to consumers, with visual merchandising and a store planogram [a diagram that shows where to sell products in store] to assist the purchase.”

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Cisco has engaged in print advertising to educate consumers, and made advances to its Cisco Connect software that are designed to make the user experience simpler, with added functionality for home users including parental controls.

According to Jackson, routers are not often viewed as the most important category, but they still make up approximately 35 per cent of the market. Cisco’s products in this category range from the E1200 (RRP $79.95) which is billed as “an entry-level product, for high-volume mass retail” up to the E3200 (RRP $269.95) which offers simultaneous dual band technology, 4 gigabit ports and 6 internal antennae.

The hero products in Cisco’s range were the X-Series modem routers – a “new product concept” according to Jackson – featuring dual functionality that works with both DSL and cable broadband connections. The X2000 (RRP $149.95) and the X3000 ($199.95) automatically detect which port is in use to ensure simple set-up.

 “There’s little mainstream knowledge of router technologies, and therefore a high return rate on products that are bought incorrectly,” he said.

“In addition, consumers are shopping in new retailers, such as new stores that aren’t big in the home-networking category or those that don’t have the staff to ensure an assisted sale. This product makes the sale process easier.”

Jackson said that the product was perfect for consumers who come into a retailer looking for a home networking solution without much knowledge of the tech specs they require, as well as retailers who had don’t have the shelf space for lots of SKUs.

The high-end X3000.


The X-Series offers the option of DSL connection or cable connection to make consumer set-up easy.