iiNet Labs fathers BoB Lite

The device sports an ADSL port, four Ethernet LAN ports, a port for a telephone to connect to its in-built internet telephony line (VoIP) and even two USB ports to connect USB storage or a 3G modem to add to its in-built functionality

National broadband company iiNet has extended its popular BoB integrated ADSL router product line with what it has billed as the first product to come out of its new in-house development labs — a younger sibling dubbed BoB Lite.

The device sports an ADSL port, four Ethernet LAN ports, a port for a telephone to connect to its in-built internet telephony line (VoIP) and even two USB ports to connect USB storage or a 3G modem to add to its in-built functionality. A PSTN failover port is also included to alleviate any downtime on iiNet’s VoIP service, iiTalk.

The device supports the 802.11n wireless standard, as well as the legacy 802.11b and g options, but only offers 100Mbps speeds instead of the higher-speed gigabit Ethernet that has become popular over the past few years.

Additionally, it supports the TR-069 standard for easy provisioning by iiNet, and allows users to use iiNet’s Fetchtv IPTV offering — which had previously been limited to those owning the bigger standard BoB device.

A spokesperson for the company wouldn’t disclose which company had manufactured the device — the previous BoB was built in partnership with Belkin — but said the device was 100 percent designed, developed and distributed internally, with manufacturing outsourced to multiple factories.

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between the old BoB and BoB Lite is the price. According to iiNet’s web site, the old model costs $269 on a 24 month contract, or $369 stand-alone, compared with $69 and $99 respectively for the BoB Lite.

iiNet general manager of its Business division, Stephen Harley, claimed the newly-introduced modem was more competitive than any other product on the market. Moreover, he said BoB Lite was only the start of a future of products to be developed by the company’s research labs.

The original BoB has been a runaway success for iiNet, with the company stating in February that it was at the time selling about 4,000 units per month. The device was launched in mid-August 2009 and had sold over 21,000 units by February, representing 85 percent of all modem sales by iiNet over the period.

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