Picturetel Corporation and ANS, the communications subsidiary of America Online, have created an alliance that they claim will revolutionalise video commerce. They propose to provide business standard videoconferencing for corporate Intranets by the end of 1996 and for the whole Internet in 1998.
An estimated 200,000 companies already use digital video communication systems, including 80 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies. Picturetel has operated in this market since 1986 and is well established as the market leader. It believes that its new products will appeal to a far wider spectrum of businesses that have been put of by the narrow scope and the high cost of current products.
Current video communications in existence on the Internet have not advanced far beyond novelty status, moving no faster than two frames per second. Progress is hindered by the inability to guarantee bandwidth and the infancy of Internet information security. ANS claims it will overcome these problems by using its encrypted virtual private data network for transmission, offering ?security, reliability and performance characteristics sought by enterprise customers", according to John Becker, ANS vice president of Network Services.
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