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Actiontec Shows Renewed Interest In Powerline

Actiontec will show six new products at CES this week, two of which use HomePlug powerline networking.

Actiontec’s new products will reflect the company’s renewed interest in powerline networking, although it will introduce primarily powerline peripherals and not full networking kits.

The powerline products are Ethernet and Wi-Fi extenders, said Gunjan Bhow, the company’s marketing VP. The Ethernet kit comes with two devices: one plugs into a wall outlet near the PC and the other is placed in the area where the user wishes to create another Ethernet environment. The Wi-Fi extender is plugged in wherever the consumer wants to make a new wireless network. The main benefit is that the new Wi-Fi network can be outside the network’s normal range or in part of a home where the Wi-Fi signal from the router cannot usually penetrate, he said.

The Wi-Fi extender will carry a suggested retail of $169, with the Ethernet version coming in at $129.

The other products are:

  • 802.11g wireless console game adapter that connects an Xbox or PlayStation directly into the Web for online play. Its suggested retail is $129.
  • A wireless network camera for home security monitoring with a motion detector, which can generate an e-mail alert if the camera is activated. Suggested retail is $199.
  • A wireless multiport print sever that gives all the computers on the network access to the home’s primary printer. Suggested retail is $149.

The company also plans to hold discussions at the show concerning upcoming products intended for telecoms that will help them bring consumers beyond simple home networking. The initial plan is centered on a VoIP telephone, but allows the caller to use a conventional home phone. Bhow said the company works with Internet telephony provider Skype and that the category is performing well enough to warrant the relaunch of its Internet phone.