Siemens Launches New R&D Units

Siemens Thursday said it will be expanding its R&D operations thorough an independent business unit within the company’s Information and Communication Networks group.

Dubbed “Siemens Subscriber Networks,” the new organization is comprised of four research and development centers in Dallas, San Jose, Calif., Brussels and Zurich. The Dallas center will be the global headquarters as well as the headquarters of Siemens Subscriber Networks, Inc., the new name for Efficient Networks, which Munich, Germany-based Siemens acquired back in 2001.

The new organization is responsible for the developing and marketing Siemens broadband customer premises equipment (CPE) around the world including Efficient Networks and its flagship portfolio of SpeedStream modems and routers. Europe’s largest electronics and electrical engineering firm said the target market for these residential and business CPE product depends heavily on competitive carriers, value-added resellers, and Internet service providers.

The company says it does have a strategic advantage in that it has worldwide sales channels in 160 countries.

“With this move we are addressing head-on the market’s demand for innovative, broadband solutions that meet the needs of a diverse, global market,” Siemens Subscriber Networks president Paul Reitmeier said in a statement. “By leveraging the established Siemens sales channel, we enjoy the best of both worlds: We are able to maintain the innovative spirit and drive of a start-up while having access to a well-developed, global sales organization.”

Siemens’ foray into broadband consumer devices is well timed. The broadband market is among the fastest growing technology markets in the world. In the first quarter of 2003, more new DSL lines were added than in any previous quarter, according to the research firm Top Point. In the United States, in the 12-month period ending June 2003, the number of broadband users (including cable and DSL) in the United States grew by 43 percent to 18 million users, according to the research firm RHK Inc.

The company’s broadband CPE portfolio includes voice and data access solutions for both small to mid-sized businesses. The company’s latest additions to the SpeedStream portfolio are the SpeedStream DSL Gateway Family, announced in July. The family includes a gateway combining a DSL modem with 802.11g (Wi-Fi) wireless networking technology in a single box and a gateway combining DSL access with 802.11g wireless and powerline networking technologies.

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