Mobile Video: The Next Frontier

The increasing prevalence of mobile video among consumers makes it a certainty that mobile unified communications will grow. It is an area ripe with possibilities -- and not without its share of challenges. For instance, IT managers will have to make sure users on 3G networks can keep up with workers on wired LANs at the office. 

By Carl Weinschenk | Posted Apr 26, 2011
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New technologies and more intensive uses of those that already exist constantly change the face of unified communications. This is especially true as increasingly potent consumer technology – and the heightened user expectations that goes with them – permeate the enterprise.

Mobile video capable of supporting business users already is here. Mashable reports, for instance, that Fring is working on group video calls for iPhone and Android. Expect more announcements as time passes and for these approaches to increasingly be tied, either overtly or covertly, to unified communications.

Last week, for instance, Vidyo said that it is extending its conferencing platform to Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The service will be available in July for enterprises that use the company's VidyoConferencing.

A recent SiliconRepublic story didn't make much of a distinction between stationary and mobile videoconferencing. The piece ran through all the common rationales driving videoconferencing growth, including budgetary limitations, improving technology, a spate of natural and manmade disasters and a general reluctance to travel. The writer drops mobile into the mix:

With the greater affordability of videoconferencing, the trend has been also towards high-definition (HD) solutions in boardrooms. The result is videoconferencing is no longer tied to conference tables, but can happen anywhere, whether through a smartphone, a netbook, an iPad 2 or via the TV in your living room.

The industry is, as usual, on the case. At Unified Communications Strategies, John Bartlett deals with an important issue, which is the vast difference in capacity between enterprise and 3G – and even 4G – networks. The bottom line is that being on a videoconference – even if in a more constrained fashion than colleagues at the office – is far better than not being there at all. 

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