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Group debuts ‘TelePresence’ in RP

Posted on: March 31, 2009

Group-debuts-TelePresence-in-RPGroup debuts ‘TelePresence’ in RP

PLDT teams up with Cisco, Tata Comms
By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:16:00 03/31/2009

Filed Under: Technology (general), Internet

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Long Distance Co. (PLDT) partnered with Cisco and Tata Communications to bring the first commercial telepresence technology in the country, officials said.

Telepresence combines high-definition video conferencing technology with spatial audio conferencing. It offers life-like, face-to-face virtual meetings for users, according to Stephen Thomas Misa, country manager of Cisco Philippines.

Nerissa Ramos, first vice-president and head for PLDT’s corporate business group, said the country’s first public telepresence studio—and the ninth worldwide—would be opened in PLDT’s Makati office, followed by two more rooms in Cebu and Davao by end of the year.

Christoffer Steffens, Tata Communications director for public telepresence, said the PLDT public telepresence studio would be connected to Tata Comms’ global network of public rooms in Mumbai, Bangalor, Chennai, Hyderabad and Gurgaon in India; Boston in the United States and London in the United Kingdom.

Pioneer global provider of Cisco TelePresence Tata Communications plans to establish and connect up to 100 public telepresence rooms globally by end of 2009. This in addition to over 300 private studios, added Steffens.

Steffens revealed plans to connect the existing private telepresence networks in education, technology and government offices.

An area of growth for telepresence is telemedicine or remote diagnostics, Steffens added.

Misa added PLDT’s public studio would be connected to the public Cisco Telepresence Suite in Santa Clara, California.

PLDT, which is the exclusive local provider of the service, said the telepresence offering comes in two flavors: Public Studio Telepresence and Private Managed Telepresence.

The PLDT Public Studio Telepresence is a 24-hour, pay-per-use service. The service would be tailored fit for organizations that hold meetings and for Overseas Filipino workers wanting to hold virtual reunions, said Ramos.

The Private Managed TelePresence is a fully managed service, which includes a high-speed bandwidth facility ideal for organizations that require always-on collaboration with counterparts abroad, said Ramos.

A screen for projecting life-like sizes of two persons requires at least 10 megabits per second of connection to enable the service, said Misa. A telepresence studio could handle six to 18 people, he added.

Instead of traveling abroad for business meetings, corporations now have an option to meet with clients in telepresence rooms. This could save them up to $260 million spent on annual travel costs.

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