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Consumer Video Conferencing

Thursday, May 20, 2010
08:30 AM - 02:00 PM
Microsoft
1065 La Avenida St.
Mountain View, CA 94043


Video conferencing has made steady inroads into large enterprise as the result of a strong case for lower travel costs and increased productivity among a distributed workforce. While telcos around the world have started to think and plan for how video conferencing plays out in the consumer market, it is not as

Video conferencing has made steady inroads into large enterprise as the result of a strong case for lower travel costs and increased productivity among a distributed workforce. While telcos around the world have started to think and plan for how video conferencing plays out in the consumer market, it is not as straightforward as enterprise-grade telepresence. Since the early PicturePhone product made by Bell Labs from 1956 - 73, many an innovator has been lured by the prospect of visual communication, and the dream of capturing that portion of human interaction that is non-verbal…only to end in market failure. From fixed to wireless carriers and consumer electronics vendors to software companies, ownership of the home network and its communication services is still contested. When it comes to video calling, the Telecom Council believes that some ideas are good…but just ahead of their time. Mass market video calling isn't so much an "if?" as a "when?" High-speed broadband, affordable bandwidth, cheap USB cameras, computing, P2P, and Moore's law have all blasted at the barriers to adoption for video conferencing. Unlike AT&Ts 1992-era $1,000 VideoPhone 2500, many consumers can now engage in a free video call with just the equipment they already own. And the relatively low cost of CPE is going to drive video calling equipment into a new range of devices including: Netbooks, PCs, set-top-boxes, TVs, tablets, mobile phones, and standalone units. And while low-cost is a powerful market catalyst to drive adoption - it is impossible to say which devices, usage scenarios, and business models the customer will adopt in the future. Discussions will include:

  1. Do increased broadband penetration, growth in home networks, new set-top box technology, and Internet-connected TVs converge to make the consumer ready for video conferencing?
  2. In what ways will consumers adopt and use video conferencing? What usage scenarios just won't work?
  3. What are the winning product and service providers in these scenarios?
  4. What business models should we be exploring?

This 5-hour, executive format meeting will bring together companies from across the industry who are thinking about this market and how to address it. We will explore the role of the carrier, startups, the relative importance of audio versus video, the attractiveness of a free Skype option, and how good is good enough for the consumer market. This meeting is free for Telecom Council members and open to non-members for $200. Speaker and sponsor options are still available.

 

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