Siemens is spinning off its customer premises equipment (CPE) unit - responsible for its VoIP phones as well as broadband products and home media devices - into a new, fully owned subsidiary.

The new company, Siemens Home and Office Communications Devices, will design, manufacture and distribute the Siemens range of Gigaset cordless phones for both traditional fixed-line and new VoIP networks, plus the broadband products.

The decision to create a new company will help Siemens respond more quickly and efficiently to the needs of the fast-paced home networking consumer market, the company said. Based in Munich, it will have a workforce of 3,700 worldwide and will officially begin operations in October.

Siemens estimated its annual CPE sales at around 1 billion euros. It hopes to carve a larger slice out of the market for voice, data and video communication devices for the home and small business market, which the company projects will be worth 16 billion euros by 2010, by working closely with network operators offering triple-play services, it said.