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Thursday, 23 February 2012 11:58

Telcos and telecoms vendors team up to facilitate video interconnection

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Universal interoperability between videoconferencing systems has come one step closer: several of the world's largest telcos have teamed up with major telco infrastructure and videoconferencing vendors to exploit cellular networking standards to deliver interoperability between videoconferencing endpoints.

They claim that their initiative "will lead to the creation of an open, interoperable and multi-operator environment that supports easy-to-use services across networks and video equipment, regardless of the country of origin or destination of the call and overcoming the need for support of an operator's service centre."

The telco participants are Deutsche Telekom, Orange (France Telecom), Telecom Italia and Telefónica. Vendor members are Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Italtel, Nokia Siemens Networks, Polycom and Quanta Computer.

However they are seeking to broaden participation to achieve universal and ubiquitous interoperation, saying: "This initiative is open to all operators and vendors so we all turn videoconferencing into a fully interoperable mass market service that can connect everything from mobile phones and tablets to large telepresence rooms into one globally supported network."

They say they have selected "a common set of capabilities based on existing 3GPP and GSMA standards to demonstrate an open solution for videoconference services which allow inter-operability among them."

The fruits of their co-operation will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week (27 February to 01 March). "The services shown will be based on 3GPP IMS and uses GSMA IPX to interconnect enabling point-to-point as well as multi-party HD video conferences, regardless of video user equipment, access network or country of origin and destination with a customer experience as easy as a phone call."

IMS is the IP Multimedia Subsystem, an open standards architecture developed by mobile communications standards body 3GPP to enable any kind of multimedia or telephony access between any kind of device, either fixed or broadband and to serve as a hub for multimedia communications in broadband wireless networks.

IPX is also a standard developed by the cellular industry, in this case the GSM Association. It is designed to enable the exchange of IP traffic between end users on different networks, both fixed and mobile.

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