Orange launches telepresence service, signs interop deal with Verizon

The service is cloud-based and uses equipment from Cisco

Orange Business Services has launched the cloud-based Telepresence Pass service, and also signed an interoperability agreement with Verizon Enterprise Solutions to increase the number of companies that can communicate with each other, the company said on Thursday.

Telepresence systems use dedicated equipment to make the meeting experience as life-like as possible, enabling participants to interact as if they were in the same room, according to Orange. The equipment could include a wall of screens, along with optimized lightning and audio, to make it seem like participants in other parts of the world sit on the other side of the table.

The service uses equipment from Cisco Systems, and costs between €400 (US$530) to €4000 per month depending on the endpoint types used on the customer side, a spokesman said via email.

Today, Orange has 67 so-called telepresence-ready countries, including 21 new ones. A telepresence-ready country is one where Orange has infrastructure that is compliant with Cisco pre-requisites needed to ensure the necessary quality.

In other places of the world, special measures need to be implemented. For example, Orange has a customer in Angola that uses telepresence over a satellite link back to the exchange in France, it said.

Orange also has interoperability agreements with AT&T, BT, Tata and Telefonica and Verizon Enterprise Solutions, according to Orange.

Interoperability agreements increase the number of companies that can communicate with each other using across any inter-connected network, it said. The agreement with Verizon allows their respective users to communicate with each other when using Cisco endpoints.

Both Orange and Verizon are members of the Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC), an organization that was established to work on standards-based visual communication.

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