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Tech - Communications

 October 11, 2012
Global Videoconferencing Network (GVN) Expands Its "Virtual Airline" Videoconferencing Network

 Global Videoconferencing Network (GVN), "The Virtual Airline", is progressing in delivering its ambition to create the world's largest network of 20,000 high-definition videoconferencing facilities for the business traveller. This month, GVN rolls out the first six sites in Europe and the US, aiming at 750 by the end of 2013.

In order to deliver this project, GVN is working on a customised solution with BT, one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, and BT Advise professional services experts are contributing to the solution's design. The project covers Cisco equipment, installation and configuration, videoconferencing bridging and the use of BT's global network to guarantee the best possible point-to-point video quality. Furthermore, GVN's public network will be able to connect to 25,000 end-point users who already benefit from BT's services. GVN will benefit from the One Care managed services wrap from BT Conferencing, which includes 24/7 helpdesk support, automated call scheduling and call launching through the BT Engage application.

Glenn Wastyn, President and CEO of GVN said: "Like a commercial airline, GVN provides virtual travel as a service, allowing business travellers to meet face-to-face more cheaper, faster and with a minimised carbon footprint. For the user experience to be at the required level of excellence, we decided to work with the best possible suppliers. BT, for example, offers a high-quality standardized approach which brings ease-of-use and ensures reliability. That approach also meets the needs of our hotel partners and corporate customers. Furthermore, BT's Global Video Exchange (GVE) already connects the largest number of private videoconferencing rooms in the world, and those corporate customers will now also be able to connect to our existing public rooms -- over 3.000 spread across more than 125 countries -- either via their existing travel agencies or GVN's online booking platform."

Edwin Hageman, CEO BT Benelux, said: "GVN's innovative idea is that it transforms an IT product into a virtual travel alternative for business travellers. GVN understands that not all corporations can afford high-quality telepresence equipment, but, like a commercial airline, they share the hardware operation costs between many customers and take out the operational complexity. We have large international customers requesting supplemental public videoconferencing space in complement to their own private networks. GVN aims to be a new answer in that market segment, delivering cleaner travel cheaper and faster."

Bart Vanden Wyngaerd, Head of Collaboration Belux at Cisco, reinforces the growth potential: "75% of business leaders believe in-person collaboration is critical to business success and has the potential to increase productivity by over 20% (Economist study). Furthermore, business videoconferencing will grow six fold between 2011-2015 according to Cisco's Visual Network Index. An enabler like GVN will allow all business owners to get the best experience at an affordable price."

Global Videoconferencing Network

Global Videoconferencing Network (GVN), The Virtual Airline, is headquartered in Belgium and provides an end-to-end videoconferencing solution integrated into the travel industry channels for corporate customers. GVN manages the hardware, financing, service while fully supporting the commercial model and structure of the travel industry. The GVN business goals include deploying 20,000 end points exponentially spread over the next deployment years. GVN is privately owned.



BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

In the year ended 31 March 2012, BT Group's revenue was £18,897m with profit before taxation of £2,445m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.