Tata Offers TelePresence Rooms for Rental

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Indian telecommunications service provider Tata Communications plans to offer TelePresence services worldwide based on technology from Cisco Systems.

In addition to private TelePresence rooms, set up and managed at customers' premises, the company is also planning to offer public rooms in select locations which companies can rent.

This cybercafé model is expected to attract companies that do not want to incur the cost of setting up a private, dedicated TelePresence room in their own office.

Cisco TelePresence technology enables high-definition conferencing over a network, and tries to recreate the feeling of an in-person meeting among colleagues anywhere in the world.

Tata Communications' initial strategy is to set up these public rooms in hotels run around the world by Indian Hotels Company, the hospitality business of the Tata Group which runs the Taj Hotels, a spokeswoman for the company said on Thursday. It has also tied up with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to house public TelePresence rooms at their offices in some locations in India.

Tata Communications has already set up public rooms in Chennai, Bangalore and Bombay in India. It plans to add similar rooms in two other locations in India, and in Boston and London by September, and later in New York, the spokeswoman said.

The service in India is priced at 20,000 Indian rupees (around US$500) an hour, which will also be the tariff for public rooms in other locations outside India, the spokeswoman said.

The TelePresence managed service includes a concierge service that takes care of reservations, scheduling, customer support, monitoring, management, reporting and billing capabilities, making it easy for customers to deploy and manage the TelePresence collaboration tool, Tata Communications said.

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