Cellnet takes on Skype handsets

Cellnet takes on Skype handsets

Cellnet has become the first local distributor of VoiceWeb's Skype-compatible handset range, Spank.

VoiceWeb managing director, Peter Fritz, said it had been talking to several suitors since launching the range in February.

The Queensland-based distributor's history in the consumer and SMB telephony space, as well as enthusiasm for Skype, were key reasons for the partnership, he said.

Cellnet will initially take on three of its nine VoIP handsets. These include its flagship CyberPhone, USB BluePhone and lightweight ClearLite USB models. All are Skype certified and have USB connectivity.

It was also considering taking on one of VoiceWeb's two Mac-compatible handsets, Fritz said.

Cellnet group product manager, Byron Sellan, said the deal was important strategically as the company embraced VoIP. Explosive growth in the technology, coupled with the global popularity of Skype, was creating a golden opportunity for handset manufacturers.

The Spank range would suit Cellnet's broad base of customers in telco, retail, IT and corporate sectors, according to Sellan. He singled out frequent travellers, SOHO and youth buyers as specific targets.

Cellnet would look to bundle the handsets with its desktop PC and notebook lines, as well as selected telco items.

Fritz said he was now working on securing a licensing deal for its ultra lightweight, ClearLite unit to take it into mass merchants like Kmart and Target.

"This particular phone taps well into the youth market. I'd like to sign up with a children's brand to drive retail sales," he said.

The company is expected to announce more distributors shortly.

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