New UC support launched for videoconferencing, smartphones

Alcatel-Lucent announces support for smartphones and high-definition videoconferencing

Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent announced support Wednesday for smartphones and high-definition videoconferencing in its new OmniTouch 8400 Instant Communications Suite of products.

The set of products sells for US$140 per user, a spokesman said, with an added cost for servers. The server pricing was not disclosed.

The support for smartphones and videoconferencing comes in addition to previous support from Alcatel-Lucent for unifying voice, messaging, fax services and Web services, Alcatel said in a statement. The OmniTouch 8400 suite is based on Linux, which Alcatel said will help businesses trying to integrate it with existing business applications.

Tom Burns, president of Alcatel-Lucent enterprise activities, said that the suite will allow high-quality collaboration over many modes, including phone, desktop PC, laptop or smartphone.

Support for smartphones means that users can get enterprise-based telephone functions, instant messaging, directory searches and even dual-mode cellular-to-WiFi connections via their smartphones by using the 8400 server. For example, a call to a desktop phone can be automatically forwarded to a smartphone, and system directories for colleagues' phone numbers and personal information can be called up on a smartphone.

The 8400 also provides high-definition Web video support using the H.264 specification, which will bring videoconferencing to a PC or laptop. An instant messaging discussion can be transformed easily into a high-definition video call, or even a multi-party videoconference, with the addition of a Web camera and other tools.

The system will scale to 100,000 users at multiple sites and works with any existing network, Alcatel-Lucent said.

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