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|November 13, 1997||
Video conferencing takes offOne year after the introduction of ISDN lines by the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, the demand for video conferencing appears to be picking up.
Negligible sales were recorded in 1995-96. The second half of 1996-97 has seen an increase in the sales of video conferencing equipment. MTNL's Deputy General Manager H D Khosla attributes the better sales to easy availability of ISDN connections.
Khosla, claims that network terminals are now available and that MTNL can easily supply 1,500 ISDN lines by March 1988.
In the current year, Rs 300-350 million worth of conferencing equipment has been sold, each equipment costing an average of Rs 150,000.
Corporate houses like the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Bharat Electronics, MTNL, VSNL and Motorola have installed ISDN lines and are now setting up video conferencing equipment at most of their branches and sites. Smaller companies are now buying such equipment as it is a cost-effective way of communication.
The world's leading manufacturer of video conferencing equipment, PictureTel, has already set up a distribution network in association with Neutron Electronic Systems to market its product range.
Neutron CEO M C Venkatram has confirmed that with the availability of ISDN lines, it is now much more economical to conduct business.
He says video conferencing equipment is available for a range of prices from Rs 150,000 to Rs 400,00. "Besides, there is a one-time application fee of Rs 3,000 per line for ISDN lines and a monthly rental of Rs 1,000 per line.
The variable costs between Bombay and Delhi for 30 minutes during peak hours over the two lines provided by the ISDN line costs only Rs 2,520 at Rs 1.40 per pulse. The costs have been calculated keeping in mind the peak-time metering at the pulse rate and cost of two 'B' channels that will have to be hired.
The ISDN connectivity introduced by MTNL in Bombay and Delhi has been quickly seconded by the Department of Telecommunications which has introduced ISDN connectivity in 11 cities.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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