First Looks: Sipura’s SPA-1000

Five months after its smash debut with the SPA-2000, Sipura Technology has released a single-port VoIP analog telephone adaptor aimed squarely at the lower-end market sector now dominated by Grandstream Networks' Handytone ATA-286.

Some five months after the release of its hugely successful SPA-2000 VoIP analog telephone adapter, Sipura Technology has announced the availability of a lower-cost single-port device.

At first glance, the two units appear to be almost identical. The new unit, dubbed the SPA-1000, is based on the same technology and is driven by the same software as the SPA-2000. And the two share the same form factor, though the new device is housed in a cream-colored shell.

What sets the SPA-1000 apart from its older sibling is that it is limited to a single VoIP telephone line. Though the unit, like the two-port model, comes with two RJ-11 input jacks, the "Phone 2" jack on the SPA-1000 is wired back to the "Phone 1" jack, allowing the user to attach two handsets to a single VoIP connection without the need for a splitter.

By releasing the SPA-1000, Sipura hopes to make significant inroads among smaller internet telephone service providers looking for a lower cost customer premise hardware solution — a market sector currently dominated by Grandstream Networks with its low-cost Handytone ATA-286.

Though not nearly as powerful as the SPA-2000, and despite a number of well-known software flaws, the Handytone — costing about 25 percent less than the SPA-2000 — has enjoyed a virtual free ride on the low end of the service provider market.

The initial retail price of the SPA-1000 is $99.95, but the unit's estimated "street" price of about $80 will be comparable to the price of the Grandstream device.

Sipura believes that by including its highly vaunted technology in a lower-cost package, the company will significantly expand its installed base.

"For the service provider focusing primarily on the one-line residential market, the SPA-1000 offers an easily managed, stable and powerful solution," said Sherman Scholten, Marketing Director for Sipura Technology. "It makes it possible for a provider to deploy a single-port device while still enjoying the benefits of Sipura's advanced technology.

Evaluation units of the SPA-1000 will be available through Sipura Technology's fulfillment center, operated by The Voxilla Store, beginning this week.