China will adopt a high-definition video communications system during the Beijing Olympic Games in August - the first of its type in Olympics history.
Cisco Systems Inc signed a deal with China Netcom, the official Olympic communications service provider, in Beijing yesterday to implement Cisco's TelePresence 3000 system during the Games.
The high-definition video communication system, including HD camera, three 65-inch plasma screens, a phone, IP network and specially-designed furniture, provides 1,080-pixel image quality, at least eight times more vivid than normal systems.
"The Cisco system will help us improve our 'broadband Olympics' strategy and ensure the stability of the communications during the big event," Zhao Jidong, China Netcom's vice president, said in a statement.
Cisco's system will be installed in China Netcom's headquarters and its data center just near the National Stadium, or Bird's Nest.
Neither side would reveal details of the deal.
On the retail market, Cisco's TelePresence 3000 system costs US$299,000 and supports communications for 12 people.
The system provides face-to-face and instant-messaging functions which traditional communications systems can't provide, according to US-based IT research firm iSuppli.
The system debuted in the market in 2006, and iSuppli says sales are expected to rocket to 2,400 in 2013 compared with about 100 in 2007.
The new services are expected to boost the revenue of carriers such as China Telecom and China Netcom as they aim to deliver high-margin non-voice services.
In China, the TelePresence system is expected to be used in the telecommunications, medical and education sectors, according to Thomas Lam, Cisco China's president.
Globally, AMD, AOL, PWC and Pepsi have adopted Cisco's systems to save travelling costs.
However, industry insiders say the systems appear to be too expensive for small-and-medium-sized enterprises, especially in China.
(Shanghai Daily January 25, 2008)