Telstra has begun hosting video conferencing services to small and medium businesses in a bid to extend its unified communications reach beyond enterprise and government departments.
The telco intends to offer several packages aimed at existing Telstra Next IP customers, allowing companies to use existing Polycom video conferencing equipment or rent an entire package.
Telstra would host the bridging required for multi-party video conferencing for up to five parties per business, charged at a monthly rate per port.
It would also offer web-based scheduling and virtual conference rooms for customers to establish conferences with similarly capable businesses.
A spokesman said the telco ultimately aimed to provide a hosted solution that would allow businesses to use a mix of Polycom and Cisco video equipment over the hosted bridges.
The integration would utilise expertise gained from Telstra's acquisition of integrator iVision earlier this year.
The spokesman was unable to provide a timeframe on integration, however, leaving the system compatible only with selected Polycom HDX equipment for now.
Small and medium businesses would be able to choose from a hosted solution that offers access to the video conferencing bridges, or a mix of '1 Touch Video' packages that allowed business to own or rent the video conferencing equipment.
The former package offers the bridges - charged monthly per port - as well as virtual rooms for multi-party conferences and interconnects for parties using 3G or ISDN video calling.
The alternate, '1 Touch Video' package would see businesses purchase a 1 Mbps or 2 Mbps high definition access pack over Telstra's Ethernet Lite IP solution.
They would then be able to choose whether to use existing Polycom equipment over Telstra's hosted bridges, purchase equipment from the telco or rent an entire managed package of equipment and hosted bridges.
"One need we were constantly asked to provide is the ability for businesses to have video conference meetings with other organisations outside of their existing data network and across different devices," Telstra director of unified communications, Boris Corluka, said.
Telstra's video conferencing solutions have largely been successful in the government space, including the contract to manage a $13.8 million telepresence network of 36 federal and state government offices using Cisco equipment.