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Etisalat to launch managed telepresence service

Telco plans to launch Etisalat-branded public telepresence rooms and private suites in the UAE

Etisalat to launch managed telepresence service
Abdulla Hashim confirmed that Etisalat plans to launch its managed telepresence service early next month.

UAE telco Etisalat will begin offering telepresence as a managed service early next month, according to Abdulla Hashim, senior vice president, business solutions, Etisalat.

Etisalat, which is using Cisco's telepresence technology, will deploy and manage the service to companies for private use, and will also deploy public telepresence suites at sites including high-end hotels in the UAE and Dubai World Trade Centre.

"We will offer it as a total solution. It depends on the model. It could be managed private telepresence or managed public telepresence," Hashim told CommsMEA.

He added that Etisalat is already in "a number of discussions" with hotels that are keen to set up telepresence suites at their premises. Etisalat will provide the connection, install and manage the telepresence suites while the hotels will provide the venue and additional services, such as concierge and catering.

"Some of the hotels feel that telepresence is a value-add for them, a service that can really differentiate them and attract business executives. So we are focusing on only top-of-the-line hotels," Hashim said.

The UAE's second operator, Du, also said recently that it would start to offer a managed service for video conferencing. During last month's Gitex Technology Week in Dubai, Du signed an agreement with FVC, the Middle East and Africa distributor for US video conferencing specialist, Polycom, to offer managed video services to businesses around the UAE.

Under the agreement Du will provide its customers with a "unified service" that includes bandwidth, device management, bridging services and Polycom video conferencing systems on a pay-as-you-go model.

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