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IT EXPO – AudioCodes, snom branch out

Perhaps the biggest surprise/trend in LA this week was the move by established IP communications companies to start widening their playing fields, abet for different reasons.  Both AudioCodes (www.audiocodes.com) and snom (www.snom.com) rolled out new products that suggest better and better possibilities for growth in the months to come.

AudioCodes is definitely expansion-minded, betting that its backing of HD voice (HDVoIP, if you prefer) and hardware integration skills will give it a foot into the door of the ever-crowded consumer CPE space.  The company’s move – more fully documented over at HD Voice News (ITEXPO: AudioCodes announces all-in-one multimedia home gateway, bundle with mobile software) – follows a path started last year, when it started making IP phones for the enterprise space to complement its line of media gateways.

At least one service provider has signed up for AudioCodes MediaPack 252 Multimedia Home Gateway, which integrates an ADSL2+ router, WiFi, a DECT/CAT-iq radio, Bluetooth and the kitchen sink into a single box.  If that’s not enough, AudioCodes will also bundle the 252 with its mobile softphone client so you can get the whole wireless-wireline/over-the-top tie-in that seems to be the rage.

Ultimately, it appears AudioCodes wants/will be providing HD voice-enabled gear from edge to core in the consumer and enterprise. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the company roll out more consumer and business CPE in 2011, so long as it A) Has a phone of some sort and B) Supports HD voice.

Snom’s move outside of phones and into IP PBX software appears to be more pragmatic.  The company wants to have offering for SMBs so dealers can do a one-stop-shop/integration free sale of phones and a PBX.  The 10 user version of the snom IP PBX is free, 20 phones will cost you, and 30 or more phones (up to around 150) version to cost some more.

Snom tends to run pretty light, so for the company to add a software-based IP PBX solution into the line up most likely means A) Long-time partner Digium and/or the Asterisk-based IP PBX offering just isn’t cutting it like it had in the past and/or B) There’s easy money to be made in the SMB IP PBX space of 20-150 users.

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