Skype hype hits Aust resellers

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NSW reseller Integrated Wireless has signed with peer-to-peer voice service provider Skype and launched its entry-level VoIP starter packs on the Australian market.

NSW reseller Integrated Wireless has signed with peer-to-peer voice service provider Skype and launched its entry-level VoIP starter packs on the Australian market.

Daryl Chambers, director at Integrated Wireless, said the Skype starter packs, launched 1 September, were a good way for consumers to test VoIP services at minimal cost and for little commitment.

"We are now looking to sign up retailers to resell it," he said.

Chambers said Integrated Wireless was also seeking new reseller channels for DUALphone, a Skype-enabled cordless phone.

"We [currently] sell it through VoIP sales channels," he said.

Integrated Wireless had picked up a couple more products from a Skype hardware supplier and more Skype peripherals would be released within weeks, Chambers added.

He said SMBs in particular were interested in Skype. Smaller companies with offices around Australia or suppliers or partners in different locations could find Skype a convenient way to test the cost benefits of IP telephony, he said.

While providers like Firefly, Freshtel and engin were providing VoIP boxes or similar, Skype was more flexible for users. A starter pack, with headset, software and microphone, cost around $12 and users only had to use the service when they chose, the rest of the time relying on their normal telephone service, Chambers said.

Mihai Cotarta, business development manager at Integrated Wireless, said the starter packs were the first Skype product the reseller would offer in its plan to reap revenue from consumers by selling VoIP products.

"The Skype starter packs require minimal training to get going," Cotarta said.

Users did not even need to sign a contract before setting up Skype on their PCs or notebooks. Skype to Skype calls were free, Cotarta said.

Integrated Wireless lists its Skype starter packs at $11.99, excluding tax. Resellers could earn good margins, the company claimed.

Luxembourg-based Skype launched voice services to third-party content providers 8 September with a stated aim of creating business opportunities for its thriving community of developers and partners.

"We are committed to opening the endless possibilities for voice by creating a marketplace for our thriving ecosystem of partners and developers to make it easy for their innovative services to be available to our millions of callers worldwide," said Niklas Zennström, chief executive of Skype, in a statement.

Skype claims to have some 48 million registered users around the world. The software was created by Swedish-born Zennström and Janus Friis from Denmark, who also founded peer to peer internet company KaZaA.

The Skype Group also has offices in London, UK, and Estonian capital Tallinn.
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