Verizon and BT partner for video conferencing solutions

08 February 2012 | Kavit Majithia


With a flurry of activity occurring in the telepresence space over the past month, global operators Verizon and BT have also partnered to extend the reach of face-to-face collaboration to reach more locations around the world.

The omission of both Verizon and BT was notable in Tata’s Global Meeting Alliance, announced last week, involving nine other operators for more video collaboration between North American, European, Middle Eastern, Asian and African carriers. It appears the UK and US-based giants have taken the initiative to use respective global reach to aid separate telepresence solutions, away from the big consortia.

The partnership will run through Cisco’s TelePresence platform , and it is designed to expand collaboration for customers through a range of virtual exchanges. According to both companies, a major advantage of face-to-face interactions virtually is the reduction of travel, time, costs and carbon emissions associated with business trips. Another main advantage of the collaboration will be the access of intercarrier telepresence meetings through a directory, but the units will still remain separate, and customers will go to their individual services providers for support, assistance and billing.

Rich Lowe, CEO of BT conferencing believes this deal is a major deal for the entire video industry, and not just for the companies and customers involved. “The latest expansion of the video industry’s connectivity capabilities is a major step forward,” he said. “The more locations customers can reach, the greater the business benefits and the more quickly they can realise return on their video investment.”

Verizon commented on the same lines, and the company believes the investment in video, and indeed telepresence, will prove to be a major service for telcos for years to come. “We believe that enabling customers to communicate across networks will speed the adoption of video communications and that one day it will become as ubiquitous as voice communications,” added Mike Palmer, VP of product strategy for enterprise solutions at Verizon.