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What are some of the biggest challenges consumers and businesses still facing with networking
TP-LINK is a global provider of SOHO and SMB networking products and the world’s No.1 provider of WLAN and broadband CPE devices, with products available in over 120 countries to tens of millions customers. Committed to intensive R&D, efficient production and strict quality management, TP-LINK continues to provide award-winning networking products in Wireless, ADSL, Routers, Switches, IP Cameras, Powerline Adapters, Print Servers, Media Converters and Network Adapters for Global end-users.

Network Products Guide: How do you see TP-LINK succeeding in a marketplace where wireless networking is commoditized?

Lewis Wu: There’s no question that the wireless networking space is brutally competitive. As we entered the US market in 2009, we knew we were going to run into competition with some of the world’s largest networking brands who had a big head start on us.

Our initial foray was successful in large part due to our ability to offer extremely aggressive pricing on products with rock-solid reliability. But we also understood that to continue fueling our growth, we would need to move beyond simply pricing.

Thus TP-LINK has also led the way in figuring out innovative products that would resonate with buyers. One example is the TP-LINK “Nano” wireless router. Priced extremely aggressively at around only $24.95 and just 2x2 inches, it has rapidly become a fan favorite of frequent travelers such as families or business persons. It also led to a lot of coverage in the mainstream and tech media, succeeding in getting out the TP-LINK brand to people who might not be as familiar with the company.

A year ago we announced the TP-LINK Support Force comprised of technical support engineers who would actively scour the Internet for users who had questions. In real-time, the Support Force would attempt to contact and troubleshoot on message boards, forums and commenting on blogs. Users were pleasantly surprised that we were proactively monitoring and responding to inquiries throughout the Internet. We continue to believe that this combination of value, cutting-edge marketing and superior support will be a successful formula for our growth.

Network Products Guide: What factors have led to TP-LINK being the world's top WLAN supplier in terms of shipment?

Lewis Wu: One core competitive advantage TP-LINK held over many of the top wireless networking companies was our in-house integrated manufacturing capabilities. Other competitors outsourced the majority of their manufacturers to third party companies. Our ability to control the entire process leads to lower manufacturing costs on our end which we then pass on to the buyer in the form of lower prices.

Beyond simply pricing, having full control over our own manufacturing also brings other benefits. Our quality control is able to be kept under stringent control, leading to fewer defects. Our R&D teams can also ensure that the customer experience is kept consistent and simple.

What this has led to is a perfect balance of value for the buyer. They receive a product that is priced aggressively, but one that works fantastically. This is borne out by the high average reviews TP-LINK products receive all over the Internet, as well as the feedback we get directly from end users at shows and on social media.

Our rapid expansion internationally is in part due to careful strategy that is tailored for each particular market we enter. Often we will examine areas that are underserved by our competitors where there seems to be a clear market need, and enter aggressively with products priced to move that fit the needs of that market.

Network Products Guide: What are some of the biggest challenges consumers and businesses are still facing with networking?

Lewis Wu: At the end of the day, networking products just need to work. It doesn’t matter how attractive the product is, or how great a marketing campaign is, if the product fails. And the network is the backbone of homes and businesses. If the networking product goes down, everything comes to a grinding halt. So to that end, there are still reliability issues that plague a lot of competitor networking products which continue to frustrate end users.

Beyond reliability, as the network demands continue to increase for both work and pleasure, understanding how different networking products can maximize bandwidth, reception and access is also important. For instance, if a consumer is in a three story home with the wireless router on the third floor, and they wish to stream HD video or play online video games to the first floor, it’s important to know what option would best fit their needs. If the distance of the router is far, or if the material of the home is not conducive towards wireless transmission, then we need to educate them about what options they have.

In this case, it’s products beyond just the “router” that they may not be as familiar with, such as wireless repeaters or Powerline adapters.

Network Products Guide: What do you see as the future for Powerline products in North America?

Lewis Wu: While Powerline is used in many countries, it is still not widely adopted in North America. But supplementing a home wireless network with Powerline adapters that leverage the existing powerlines in the home to transmit data can provide a stable, fast path in situations where wireless alone may not be optimal.

We believe that as price points continue to come down and new form factors are released, adoption of Powerline will continue to grow. The value proposition is just too strong and the needs are too great to believe otherwise. TP-LINK has numerous Powerline products including starter kits, mini adapters and more, all at price points that are significantly lower than what most people have come to expect from Powerline.

Company: TP-LINK
117 N Sunset Avenue, City of Industry, CA 91744 U.S.A.

Founded in: 2007
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: China
Products and Services: Networking products (wireless and wired), including Wireless, ADSL, Routers, Switches, IP Cameras, Powerline Adapters, Print Servers, Media Converters and Network Adapters.
Company’s Goals: Clients Come First; Our Foundation is Quality; Honest Enterprise; Maintain Focus
Key Words: Networking, wireless networking, SOHO networking, SMB networking, wireless routers, routers, switches, ADSL, IP cameras, Powerline, print servers, media converters, network adapters.

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