Telstra Launches An HD Version Of Skype
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Just as Panasonic, Samsung and LG get ready to launch Skype enabled TVs that have been described as ideal for boardrooms as well as the home, Telstra has rolled out a new HD video service.

Telstra said that users can take advantage of the new video telephony service by simply upgrading their desktop phones.

Telstra’s acting Executive Director, Data, IP & Enterprise Services, Carol White, said that more than 300 organisations using Telstra’s hosted IP telephony product (TIPT) “Telstra has upgraded its network so that we can share video calls between business customers as easily as we share IP voice traffic. Simultaneously we have partnered with Polycom to introduce our first video phone which will enable our TIPT customers to access affordable video calling from today.

“When teamed with our hosted IP telephony network, our new video phone can deliver business-grade video calling with a simple touch of the screen. It’s as easy as making a voice call and puts person-to-person video communication in the hands of more organisations,” Ms White said.

The new device, called the Telstra VVX 1500 Business Media Phone, is HD voice ready and features a seven-inch touch screen display, six lines, a Gigabit Ethernet switch and an integrated camera. Telstra is one of the first carriers in the world to offer the phone which provides a high-quality video and voice experience thanks to quality of service (QoS) data traffic prioritisation on Telstra’s Next IP network.

“Video telephony represents a new opportunity for businesses looking to increase their face-to-face contact with customers, staff and suppliers. It can facilitate faster decision-making, improve productivity and can also provide genuine alternatives to some business trips – helping to reduce a business’ carbon footprint and travel expenses. Industries as diverse as mining, manufacturing, banking, retail and education can benefit from this solution which is delivered over Telstra’s Next IP network,” Ms White said.

In addition to video calling Telstra is also launching high-definition voice calling between businesses using Telstra IP Telephony. The new business-to-business capability comes after Telstra launched internal HD voice calling for businesses in April 2009.

 

“HD voice calling delivers twice the clarity of ordinary phone calls and is like switching from AM to FM radio. Increasing voice clarity can improve understanding and can help businesses communicate and collaborate more effectively with customers and suppliers.

“Organisations currently using HD-capable TIPT handsets will automatically access HD voice calling when connecting with other TIPT customers with compatible handsets. We expect new customers will move quickly to equip their meeting rooms with this technology, while others will upgrade their entire fleet of desktop phones to allow all staff to realise the benefits,” Ms White said.

Both HD voice calling and video telephony via the Telstra VVX 1500 Business Media Phone are available to Telstra Business and Telstra Enterprise & Government customers from this week. The Telstra VVX 1500 is available to TIPT customers on a rental arrangement with Telstra for $45 (GST exclusive) per month over 3 years.