news Dropping hints about new products due to be launched in 2012, iiNet Labs team member Simon Watt has revealed in a blog post this week that one of these is a major new broadband hardware product.
Watt disclosed that the new mystery product has required the entire iiNet Labs team to come together at the iiNet head office in Subiaco, WA for discussions on the New Year release. He stated that the team has been brainstorming for the very best name for the new product. Watt also assured that the new product’s technology is being designed to keep pace with fast-moving technology to serve customers’ needs.
Watt has reached out to customers, asking for suggestions about what new product they’d wish for from iiNet. Another tip from Watt suggests that the new surprise product will connect users to their homes in many more ways than ever. Referring to another product launch slated for 2012, Watt hinted that wireless modem owners would “find it very interesting indeed”. Gizmodo has reported that the images accompanying the post referred to a “BoB 3” product.
Just about a year ago, iiNet had extended its popular BoB integrated ADSL router product line with BoB Lite—the first product to be designed, developed and distributed internally in its in-house development labs. The device features a port for a telephone to connect to its in-built internet telephony line, four Ethernet LAN ports, an ADSL port and two USB ports to connect USB storage or a 3G modem to improve its inbuilt functionality. The inclusion of a PSTN failover port is intended to alleviate any downtime on iiTalk, which is iiNet’s VOIP service.
BoB Lite (Delimiter’s review here) supports the 802.11n wireless standard, the legacy 802.11b and g options and the TR-069 standard for easy provisioning by iiNet and enables access to iiNet’s Fetchtv service. This first effort from iiNet is in direct competition to similar devices from Belkin, Linksys, NETGEAR and even FRITZ!Box from Internode.
iiNet followed this with a new model of its BoB ADSL integrated router range in February 2011. The new iiNet BoB provides ADSL2+ functionality, the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, a handset with a full colour screen and dual VoIP capability to support two phone numbers from two providers. The new model continues to support iiNet’s Fetchtv internet video platform and also supports IPv6 but not gigabit Ethernet. Steve Harley, iiNet Labs CEO stated that the new BoB would feature a built-in answering machine and parental control functionality and would be geared to keep with network changes, such as the National Broadband Network rollout.
At the same time, Harley has also confirmed that iiNet was planning to manufacture products in-house to increase competition and innovation. In July 2011, iiNet had announced the signing of a new deal for products from its Labs division in New Zealand. The New Zealand company, Orcon, which is an emerging NZ telco, became the first to on-sell the BoB2 from July 20, under the name “Orcon Genius”, with several modifications for compatibility with the NZ market.
Harley had further announced plans to modify other Labs products for making them available in New Zealand through Orcon over the course of 2011. Another recent product from iiNet is the Wireless Bridge product which sits between customers’ lounge room media centres and their routers.
Image credit: iiNet