CHICAGO October 28, 2005 France Telecom announced today its receipt of the InfoVision Award from the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) for its videotelephony service at the Broadband World Forum Europe 2005 in Madrid, Spain.
In deployment since December 2004, the service employs an integrated, fixed-mobile convergence architecture to deliver video communication integrated with traditional voice communication on both landline and mobile terminals.
"France Telecom is the worldwide leader for fixed, mobile, and Internet integrated videotelephony services," said Denis Guibard, vice president of France Telecom's videotelephony program, during a plenary session at the World Forum.
"Our strategy with videotelephony is to offer it as an enrichment of telephony at the same cost as audio-only communications," said Guibard. "We do not plan to overcharge for video."
The videotelephony offering incorporates three fully interoperable services: the Livecom service for PC videotelephony, the MaLigne visio service for videotelephony over a dedicated (DSL) terminal, and the Orange Intense 3G service for videotelephony over a mobile phone.
When asked by an audience member how successful France Telecom has been with its videotelephony service over the past 10 months, Guibard said that the service was developing at a satisfactory pace for such an innovation in usages. He added, "We have been counting adoptions of the service in the tens of thousands."
France Telecom, as other major carriers, has made forays into videotelephony in the past without turning it into a commercial launch, Guibard said, and there are three main reasons why the company is doing this again. With the pervasive deployment of broadband and the dramatic reduction in the cost of equipment and terminals, videotelephony can now be offered as a true mass-market service. Also, there has been increased 'image pervasiveness' in society over the past few years, meaning people are more used to having their images on display. And finally, the drive into videotelephony is an effort by France Telecom to provide its customers with increased value over fixed and mobile broadband access.
The InfoVision Award program recognizes corporations and individuals for pioneering developments in technologies, applications, products, advances, and services judged to be the most unique and beneficial in the telecommunications industry.
The IEC's Broadband World Forum Europe, unparallel to any other communications event, hosted more than 90 exhibitors, drew nearly 6,000 industry professionals to register, and presented more than 40 sessions over four days at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos de Madrid. The two-day WiMAX Global ComForum also took place at the event, addressing technology and business challenges associated with WiMAX wireless broadband networks. Encouraging professionals to learn and share information, both events fulfilled the IEC's commitment to catalyzing positive change in technology, business, and academia.
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