Telepresence was a global vendor (Cisco/Tandberg/Polycom), global service provider (AT&T/BT/Verizon Business) story. That changed recently when Hong Kong-based CPCNet launched a managed high-definition (HD) video conferencing solution, VC2, and Chinas Huawei Technologies launched its own line of telepresence equipment.
Separately, SingTel has been giving visibility to its Managed HD Video Conferencing Service, which launched at the end of 2008 and which now includes telepresence.
Global managed telepresence offers from AT&T and BT have had limited reach into the Asia-Pacific region as the operators build up network operations centre capacity to support inter-carrier and inter-company video networking. Now regional enterprise users will have potentially even more choice than counterparts in Europe and the Americas, with the emergence of these regional players.
CPCNets VC2 solution is provided through a range of CPE devices and allows laptop access to the conference room. CPCNet provides the managed network connectivity to maximise the efficient use of the network for video traffic at the same time as integrating different bandwidths to provide HD quality video to all participants in the conference. The new solution provides a web portal for end users to manage video conferences and a 24×7 helpdesk to ensure quality of service can be given at all times.
CPCNet has focused its managed services model around video conferencing being accessible to all users, something that Ovum believed was essential for the development of video conferencing when telepresence made its entrance to the market in 2007. Telepresence has definitely spurred on the video conferencing market and CPCNets managed network connectivity is essential for the quality of video conferences using different devices.
Huawei also quietly announced its latest telepresence offering. It already offers a selection of end points for HD video conferencing, but this is the first move in the telepresence market. The solution, ViewPoint Telepresence 3006, is based on open standards so that it can be interoperable over different networks and can provide HD and standard-definition conferencing to users with existing video conferencing solutions. The solution uses a wireless control to manage the call setup, which it says is simpler and more convenient to use than a telephone call. Interoperability is key for telepresence, and Huawei has made the right choice to make sure that its solution is interoperable.
The potential for HD video conferencing in China is huge. It is an extremely useful tool to help manufacturers demonstrate their products without the need for travel. So far, telepresence deployments in China have been made by the major players in the HD video conferencing market: Tandberg, Polycom and Cisco.
The release of Huaweis Telepresence solution will help the market grow within China. Huawei is renowned for its low-cost solutions so we may expect pricing to become more competitive for video conferencing units in the future if the Huawei solution can compete with its western competitors.
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