Verizon Business Rolls Out High-Definition Video Conferencing to Enhance Global Collaboration

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - As part of its ongoing effort to help organizations communicate more effectively around the globe, Verizon Business announced Thursday (Jan. 24) the rollout of video conferencing in high definition.

Verizon Video Conferencing with High Definition can vastly improve the video-conferencing experience by working together with Verizon Business' world-class public and Private IP network services to provide a clearer, crisper and higher-quality video picture for customers with high-definition-capable video equipment.

The service is immediately available for customers around the world, who are increasingly turning to video conferencing as an alternative to face-to-face meetings to boost productivity, hold the line on business travel costs, and help reduce carbon emissions associated with business travel.

"A key benefit to video conferencing is the leader's ability to know participants are engaging in the topic, since the leader can see them and visually interact;" said Mike Marcellin, vice president of product marketing for Verizon Business. "High-definition video enriches the collaboration session by delivering a more realistic and lifelike experience than previously available with standard video conferencing.

"As organizations continue to consider use of immersive video conferencing in the longer term, high-definition video conferencing offers an improved, immediate and cost-effective alternative to in-person meetings," Marcellin added.  "This new service is one of several advancements we are rolling out to help our customers collaborate more effectively boost their productivity and meet their goals to 'go green.'"

High definition TV (HDTV) is the newest video system standard for transmitting a TV signal with far greater resolution than the standard definition used in North America and  in much of Western Europe and several other countries around the world.

Like HDTV, HD video conferencing provides images with finer resolution and a sharper, clearer picture. While HDTV is a one-way broadcast that transmits video in one direction, video conferencing is a real-time, two-way interactive video communication.

The HD video supported by Verizon conferencing provides a quality high-definition experience with a screen resolution frame size of 1,280 x 720 pixels and a transmission speed of 30 frames per second.

To take advantage of the offering, customer equipment must support high definition at each location participating in HD meetings. The access may be provided through the public Internet or over Verizon Private IP service, with four access speeds available - 1,152kbps (kilobits per second), 1,472kbps, 1,536kbps and 1,920kbps.

Verizon Business offers a range of video-related products, including a telepresence solution.  The new high-definition video conferencing offering helps enrich the company's portfolio of products and services, which can meet virtually any customers' needs.

Making it Easier to Collaborate

In addition to the new HD video conferencing service, Verizon Business recently announced several enhancements to its Web and audio conferencing services that will help make it easier for organizations around the globe to use their conferencing services and improve collaboration. These include:

  • Mobile Conference Connection - Launched last summer and rolled out internationally last month, Verizon Business' Mobile Conference Connection service helps busy workers quickly and easily coordinate spontaneous meetings and boost productivity away from the office by allowing them to initiate or join a conference call with a few clicks on any Research in Motion BlackBerry or Microsoft Windows Mobile smart phone or PDA. For example, Instant Meeting leaders in North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America can enter their Instant Meeting Subscription information on their mobile device. They can then use the device to initiate and schedule spontaneous meetings; send e-mail meeting invitations; and enable participants' ability to join conference calls via a link embedded in an e-mail invitation that participants receive via their mobile registered device. In addition, leaders can join audio calls by having a conference call bridge contact them.

  • Sub-Conferencing - Verizon Business' Instant Meeting audio conference service now allows conference leaders to create virtual breakout rooms during a live conference call. This feature gives customers additional flexibility when hosting a call by enabling participants to break out into smaller groups -- without having to join another call - and then to reconvene in the main conference. The leader can initiate up to nine sub-conferences within the main conference. Participants can be moved into a sub-conference through either the Web Moderator, a Web-based call-management tool, or through touch-tone commands. 

  • Instant Scheduler - It's now easier to use this service to schedule audio and Web conferences.  The service, a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, enables conference leaders to include Instant Meeting and Instant Net details when sending Outlook invitations to participants. It also provides a click-to-join link within the meeting invitation for attendees and provides leaders a quick way to launch the online Web Moderator to manage the conference. This tool is available in French, German and Japanese, as well as English.

  • Instant Meeting Instant Scalability - Verizon Business' Instant Meeting audio conference service now enables leaders to temporarily increase the number of lines available for a conference call, before or even during the call. This enhancement is available through the Web Moderator call-management tool.

Collaboration is a key driver of business performance, according to "Meetings Around the World:  The Impact of Collaboration on Business Performance," a study conducted in 2006 by Frost & Sullivan and sponsored by Verizon Business and Microsoft Corp.   The study - which defined collaboration as an interaction between culture and technology such as audio and net conferencing, e-mail and instant messaging - also found that professionals around the world see their collaborative efforts as highly productive and believe that collaboration through communications technologies can provide a competitive advantage. Full details of the report can be found at http://newscenter2.verizon.com/kit/collaboration/.

Verizon Business, through its expansive global network, is a leading provider of conferencing and collaboration services, enabling organizations to conveniently and effectively collaborate, virtually anytime, anywhere, and helping them improve response time and productivity without the costs associated with business travel. Verizon Business features a wide range of audio, video and Web-conferencing offerings; IP-based services; and some of the most advanced meeting tools available, like telepresence.  With more than 30 years of experience delivering conferencing services, Verizon Business today handles millions of virtual meetings each month.

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large-business and government customers worldwide.  Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced communications, security and other professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.