Telstra jumps on desktop videoconferencing bandwagon

Offers new video-calling phone to TIPT business customers

The Telstra VVX 1500 business media phone

The Telstra VVX 1500 business media phone

Telstra has moved to address declining PSTN revenues with the launch of a new desktop video phone aimed at business customers and designed to encourage them to up their data spend through the use of videoconferencing.

The Polycom-produced Telstra VVX 1500 business media phone is HD0-ready and features a seven-inch touchscreen display, six lines, a Gigabit Ethernet switch and an integrated camera. It is aim at the 300-plus business customers of Telstra’s hosted IP telephony product (TIPT).

“Telstra has upgraded its network so that we can share video calls between business customers as easily as we share IP voice traffic,” Telstra acting executive director, data, IP & enterprise Services, Carol White, said in a statement.

“Simultaneously we have partnered with Polycom to introduce our first video phone which will enable our TIPT customers to access affordable video calling from today.”

In line with the wider videoconferencing market, Telstra is a positioning the phone as an answer to business’ need for reduced carbon emissions and travel costs as well as increasing ‘face time’ with customers.

“Video telephony represents a new opportunity for businesses looking to increase their face-to-face contact with customers, staff and suppliers,” White claimed. “It can facilitate faster decision-making, improve productivity and can also provide genuine alternatives to some business trips — helping to reduce a business’ carbon footprint and travel expenses.”

In February Telstra reported that revenue from PSTN services declined $222 million year-on-year during the 31 December half year. ISDN services declined $20 million and advertising and directories businesses declined $53 million year-on-year.

Market share during the half has been an ongoing issue for Telstra with both the telco's fixed retail broadband services in operation and mobile service revenue continuing its downward trend.

In the second half of the 08/09 financial year retail broadband share was 48 per cent and mobile revenue was 43 per cent. In first half of the 09/10 financial year, retail broadband share was 45 per cent and mobile revenue 42 per cent.

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