American networking equipment firm Linksys have introduced their innovative VELOP system to the Middle Eastern market to much fanfare in Dubai. The new product is a complete wireless and wired solution that is simple to use, exceedingly fast - and provides 100% speed to the edge of the network. It is being hailed as the first true Whole Home Wi-Fi system that is set to revolutionize the Wi-Fi experience for 'The Connected Family'.
Linksys has been a home router pioneer for years and has established itself as a global leader in this sector. Founder and CEO of Linksys, Chet Pipkin believes that his team has now created the ultimate Wi-Fi experience for consumers all over the world. Speaking at the launch, Linksys CEO said: "This is why I purchased Linksys in 2013. I had a vision of solving a huge problem in almost everyone's life which is slow and unreliable Wi-Fi. Linksys has always been pioneers in home networking and I knew this was the team that could innovate and deliver the ultimate Wi-Fi experience. Velop is a union of performance, design, and ease-of-use and provides what everyone wants - seamless, reliable Wi-Fi. Linksys has set the bar for true mesh networking systems."
Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with Justin Doucette, senior director of product management at Linksys to explore the capabilities and benefits this new seamless Wi-Fi experience will bring to users. While VELOP was also introduced to the Middle East region this month - the system became commercially available in the US and Europe in mid-January. Doucette said the response from consumers to the product has been 'phenomenal'.
Doucette said: "It's been commercially available in the US since mid-January - and we also launched it in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and a variety of different places on the same date. We've had a couple of months of sell through and the response has been phenomenal. I can't really add anymore to that - it really has been phenomenal. We have also great press reviews, but more importantly for us we've had great consumer reviews. The reviews have been spectacular, consumers are basically saying that they've finally got a product that is easy to set-up and has great performance capabilities - so to summarize VELOP has been wildly successful so far for us."
The senior director of product management at Linksys is clear when asked what differentiates VELOP from other competitors in the market. According to Doucette, their performance is superior to that of their rivals, and its ease of use and design makes it the 'must-have' Wi-Fi experience for consumers. In addition to this, he added that the experience of the team at Linksys is unrivalled.
Doucette said: "Performance is what separates us from our competitors - I mean we've literally tested this thing again, again and again. We test our competitors on a regularly basis and we knew what we were up against - and we wanted to ensure that we provided the absolute best performance. In addition to this, I don't think anyone else has the type of experience that our team has. I mean we have people that have been with Linksys for fifteen years, they've seen this technology evolve. Some of these start-ups, I mean they're less than 18 months old, so they just don't have the level of experience that we do and I think we've harnessed all that, performance, ease of use, design all that experience to really create a great product."
Doucette admitted that their intent from a design perspective was to focus on its 'ease of use' in order to ensure that everybody, no matter how technically savvy they were could easily set-up the system and enjoy the benefits of it. However, he has expressed his surprise at the amount of advanced users who have purchased the product.
He said: "Our intent from a design perspective was to make sure that 'Aunt Betty' could easily work it. However, what's really interesting based on the reviews is that a lot of people buying this product are actually very advanced users - users that have upgraded their networking equipment maybe three times in the past two years. Because they're constantly looking for something better, the great thing is that VELOP has appealed to them as well. I was pleasantly surprised at the sheer number of advanced users who were buying it, and giving it out five out of five stars, because they were all universal in agreement that it was the best thing they'd ever used."
Doucette admitted that whilst the US was the biggest marketplace with the most opportunities - he conceded that the Middle East and Europe where a close second in terms of importance for the US company which is headquartered in California. He added that there was a huge opportunity for growth in this region before saying that the 'sky was the limit' for Linksys in the Middle East.
Doucette said: "The US is our biggest market and it represents the most opportunities for us - but a very close second is Europe and the Middle East. For Linksys the Middle East has been a great region, because we have such a strong brand presence and market share here, and the team here has done an incredible job building that brand. The growth is still here, people are still moving here, there's an increasing population across the region and I don't think that's going to change - and there's also that market demand. People want better Wi-Fi, so the sky's the limit for us in the Middle East."