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Seizing the Mobile Video Conferencing Opportunity

August 27, 2013 | Telepresence Options

mobile videoconferncing

ClearSea Mobile Client, image courtesy of LifeSize.com

Story by Tim Kridel / lLightReading

Hard to believe it's been more than a decade since Verizon Wireless coined, "Can you hear me now?" These days, mobile operators might consider a campaign that asks, "Can you see me now?"

No, we're not referring to streaming mobile video services such as Netflix and YouTube. As the new�Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, "Mobile Video Conferencing: Cutting the Endpoint Cord," explains, two-way video services are growing at a rapid pace in terms of product selection and adoption.

"About 30 percent of our meetings have at least one mobile device," says Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer at�Blue Jeans Network, a provider of cloud-based video conferencing services. "Overall, mobile devices are about 6 percent of our endpoint mix right now, but it's one of the fastest-growing segments." A competitor,�Vidtel, says about 25 percent to 50 percent of its services' participants currently use mobile devices.

Why? One reason is growing smartphone and tablet penetration in enterprises of every size. Virtually all these devices have a forward-facing camera, 3G and WiFi, if not Long Term Evolution (LTE), too. Video conferencing vendors such as�LifeSize�and�Radvision�recognized this trend and have spent the past year-plus rolling out apps that enable those devices to double as endpoints.

For enterprises, part of the attraction is that mobile offers a low-cost way to extend video conferencing throughout their organization as opposed to spending $500 or more to equip each employee with a purpose-built endpoint. For video conferencing vendors, mobile will both cannibalize and drive endpoint sales. That's because when more employees can use video conferencing, the greater the return on those companies' investments in room-based and executive desktop systems, which serve completely different needs. Mobile video conferencing also could become another way for contact centers to cater to consumers whose preferred or only Internet device is a smartphone or tablet.

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