Videoconferencing potential seen in broadband push

With the pressure now on the telcos to open the broadband taps, Tandberg is ready

Videoconferencing specialist Tandberg is banking on increased local interest in videoconferencing, following the government’s announcements regarding broadband services.

Its desktop MXP150 device costs about $1500 — no more than the price of a high-end mobile phone, the company points out. Tandberg hopes business users will be willing to use purpose-built devices rather than putting up with lower resolution through PC screens.

The terminal has an eight-inch screen and operates over a 384kbit/s to 512kbit/s link. It has a telephone-style keyboard and optional handset, and can be interfaced with the PC for videoconference presentation of data. But the lack of appropriate data compression software and the lower quality of the image mean it is not practical right now to present both on the same screen.

Tandberg will have to convince local customers to sacrifice some desk real-estate if they want to persuade them to videoconference on a regular basis.

Tandberg also supplies small and large-scale meeting-room screens. The videoconferencing gear is backed with appropriate encryption and firewall traversal technology, to ensure communications get through and stay private. A management suite keeps track of usage and warns of any problems.

Jacob Burbidge is the company’s Australia/New Zealand area manager, based in Sydney. Burbidge is a New Zealander and spends half his time here.

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