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Cisco continues small business push

Company introduces Linksys One, which will feature hosted voice, video, data networking, and applications via ISPs.

Cisco Systems is expanding its product lineup to small business, with an offering that will feature hosted voice, video, data networking, and applications via Internet service providers, the company said Monday.

The Linksys One offering marks Cisco's seventh "advanced technology" debut since it initiated an aggressive product road map earlier this year. Cisco's "advanced technologies" are products for markets that Cisco believes will ultimately reach $1 billion in annual sales.

"Small businesses are the fastest-growing customer segment for Cisco, and we think hosted SBS (small business systems) will be a high growth area," Charles Giancarlo, Cisco chief development officer, said in a statement. "As the next advanced technology, we believe hosted SBS has the potential to grow to a $1 billion business and Cisco-Linksys can achieve a leading market share position."

Linksys One, developed by Cisco's Linksys subsidiary that it acquired in 2003, provides hardware that includes a services router, color IP phones and analog voice gateways. The technology is hosted by Internet service providers such as MCI and NeoNova Network Services, but the offering is sold, installed and serviced by a reseller.

The hardware is priced at $1,200 for the router, $300 for the phone, and $280 for the gateway. The hardware can be purchased separately or bundled into the cost of the hosted service. The cost of the hosted service was not immediately available.

Linksys One is scheduled to launch in selected U.S. markets in the first quarter. Nationwide deployment is expected by the summer, with its global release anticipated by the end of next year.