Mobile phone operator 02 is to re-sell 3Com Wireless Bluetooth PC cards and USB adaptors to business customers via the 02 and Link retail outlets across the UK.
John Myall, original equipment manufacturer sales manager at 3Com, said the deal would fill a gap in the vendor's channel and move the Bluetooth peripherals into the mobile telephone arena.
"Bluetooth accessories are for phones as well as PCs and our traditional IT reseller's channel is not suitable for selling in this market," he said.
Steve Muttram, managing director at mobile and wireless distributor Portable, said it would be some time before retailers could compete with IT resellers in this arena, but that if retailers were successful it could benefit resellers down the line.
"We are now selling thousands of Bluetooth products through resellers every month and, although retail will grow, it will take some time for these products to compete because a depth of knowledge about the computer environment is required," he said.
"If the retail channel takes off it will benefit resellers because they can sell the add-on products to users, such as General Packet Radio Service enhancing products."
3Com is ensuring consistency in its channel with no preferential buying for O2, which will receive the products through distributor Dextra, according to Myall.
He said the traditional channel would continue to sell these products but that it would now be possible to buy the add-ons with mobile telephones.
"If customers want to buy add-ons as part of a PC they will use the IT channel, but if they want them with a phone they can use the retail route," he said.
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