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UC Week in Review: HD Voice, Videoconferencing Drive Industry


January 08, 2010

Welcome to the latest edition of unified communications’s Unified Communications Week in Review, featuring the hot stories impacting in the UC industry. This week, high-definition voice, or HD Voice, made the top of the news cycle.

 
As businesses and consumers focus more attention on the ways in which they can better communicate, services like HD Voice is quickly gaining more attention.  With more and more HD features being added to IP communications products and services, it’s only a matter of time when the technology will become a market rule, according to an executive with a SIP-based security solutions provider.
 
Steve Johnson, president of Ingate Systems, said it is only a matter of time before HD Voice becomes a “force” in the industry.
 
“HD Voice is going to become a force when the cost of ownership is low enough that the Return on Investment can be realized in a short time,” Johnson told TMC CEO Rich Tehrani in an interview. “Consumers have been happy with the status quo for a long time, and we tolerate cell phone calls that can be truly “low definition” voice. When vendors can implement high definition voice quality at prices that are as low as today’s VoIP handsets, then HD Voice will rule the market.”
 
Johnson, who will be speaking at ITEXPO East 2010 on “SIP Trunking - Issues, Opportunities, and Solutions,” on Jan. 22, also said that the growing popularity of smartphones shows a trend happening in the Unified Communications Space - that people want to communicate in a variety of ways, be it e-mail, phone or SMS.
 
The HD sector made other headlines this week as Panasonic launched its new KX-VC500 HD Visual Communications Solution videoconferencing system.Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the system is intended to “dramatically enhance the distance collaboration capabilities afforded by conventional video conferencing systems, providing businesses and institutions with a genuinely viable alternative to business travel.”
 
The entry may shake up the videoconferencing marketplace, perhaps expanding it thanks to Panasonic’s experience in making high-quality video and audio and the firm’s size and brand familiarity, unified communications reported.
 
The product will be available this spring.
 
While on the subject of videoconferencing, one of the industry’s dominant players, Polycom, andIBM were slated to reveal a high-definition video conferencing product this week at CES in Las Vegas. The new product would let multiple participants use video chats over high-speed Internet, Polycom said. No pricing details or a launch date were available.
 
IBM said its demonstration at CES was meant to highlight its vision of a “futuristic home,” Reuters said. The company doesn’t have any plans to sell consumer videoconferencing products under its own name.
 
That’s it for this week. Be sure to check out the latest UC news on unified communications.
 
To find out more about Steven Johnson and Ingate Systems visit the company at ITEXPO East 2010. Scheduled for Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Johnson will speak at “SIP Trunking - Issues, Opportunities, and Solutions” at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 22. Meanwhile, Polycom is a Silver sponsor of ITEXPO and has several executive speaking at ITEXPO. Visit the company at booth D17 on the show floor. Don’t wait. Register now.
 

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for unified communications, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney




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