7 Oct 2005
Tip-Top Telephones(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2005)
Victorwood Holdings Ltd
Put simply, Voice-over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, technology takes analogue audio signals and turns them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.
Recognising this fact, Hong Kong-based and internationally-renowned Victorwood Holdings Ltd decided two years ago to restructure its operations by creating a new subsidiary to specialise in VoIP technology.
The fledgling company, Perfectone Net Ware Co Ltd, is now emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the Internet telephony hardware field, claims sales executive Billy Lo.
"The trend is moving towards Internet telephony, so we decided to focus on that," explains Lo, conceding that it's "not big" at the moment, but he does expect it to grow significantly in future.
"We mainly concentrate on VoIP and USB products, and manufacture items such as VoIP phones, gateways and USB phones, headsets and audio adaptors."
Perfectone's innovations have been driven by the increasing popularity of VoIP, which incurs no additional costs over and above the Internet Service Provider's charge for connection time. "It obviously provides a massive cost-cutting opportunity for frequent users of long-distance and international call lines," adds Lo. "VoIP also offers enormous flexibility as users can make a call from any broadband connection."
However, while Internet telephony may still be in its infancy, Perfectone is eyeing a future in which much of the equipment currently manufactured by its Victorwood parent, such as Public Standard Telephone Network (PSTN) phones, fax and answering machines and speakerphones, will be obsolete.
Victorwood and Perfectone both place strong emphasis on R&D, and Perfectone has a highly experienced and creative design and engineering team based at its factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.
"We're coming up with new items all the time," Lo affirms. "We're interested in expanding our range of USB products, including speaker phones, headsets and speakers, and are looking at wi-fi products as well."
Perfectone's biggest market at present is Europe, followed by Southeast Asia and Australia. "However, demand in the US is catching up rapidly," Lo observes.
Although the company is committed to building the Perfectone brand, much of its business, like Victorwood's, is undertaken on an OEM basis.
Minimum orders for each product are around 1,000 units, and FOB prices depend on customer requirements. "Orders can generally be completed in about 30-40 days," Lo adds.
The current product range includes complete standalone VoIP phones - which do not have to be connected to a computer - such as the IP 300 VoIP Phone.
Others include gateways and a range of devices with USB connectors including handsets, headsets, audio adaptors, travel phones and desktop phones that are connected to the Internet via the computer.
"Our latest product is the GT636 OU USB DECT phone, which offers two telephone lines in one system and provides both VoIP and a standard PSTN line," Lo says.
Compatible with the Skype peer-to-peer service and other Internet telephone software such as MSN Messenger and Net2Phone, they are wireless with a reach of up to 350 metres.
"Other notable features include distinctive ringing between standard telephone and Internet calls, call-waiting on PSTN and a full 13 hours of talk-time," he adds.
WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE
Victorwood Holdings Ltd