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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Financial Times
AT&T and BT have initiated the first network operator telepresence exchange, thereby setting an industry benchmark for using the technology and overshadowing other operators with similar plans, such as Tata and Orange. Together, AT&T and BT operate more than 2,000 telepresence rooms globally, including about 1,100 for corporate customers. The agreement will enable telepresence business customers on either network to schedule meetings and connect to any other telepresence user on the networks. Initially, this will require that users have Cisco’s CTS telepresence equipment. High-definition picture and sound technology that can create virtual meeting rooms with lifesize images of participants make telepresence systems an attractive way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint by travelling less. Widespread adoption of these systems has, however, been slowed by incompatible systems and the lack of interconnect standards. While traditionally considered a climate-smart option for intra-company meetings, analysts believe that collaboration between companies is the future of the technology’s application, writes FT. “Businesses are recognizing the value of telepresence as an effective global collaboration tool, and we’re seeing increasing adoption of our AT&T Telepresence Solution quarter after quarter by both small and large businesses across industries,” Kevin Peters, chief marketing officer of AT&T Business Solutions unit, said.

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