verizon : Verizon Business Rolls Out High-Definition Video Conferencing to Enhance Global Collaboration

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing effort to help organizations communicate more effectively around the globe, Verizon Business announced Thursday (Jan. 24) the rollout of video conferencing in high definition.

Verizon Video Conferencing with High Definition can vastly improve the video-conferencing experience by working together with Verizon Business' world-class public and Private IP network services to provide a clearer, crisper and higher-quality video picture for customers with high-definition-capable video equipment.

The service is immediately available for customers around the world, who are increasingly turning to video conferencing as an alternative to face-to-face meetings to boost productivity, hold the line on business travel costs, and help reduce carbon emissions associated with business travel.

"A key benefit to video conferencing is the leader's ability to know participants are engaging in the topic, since the leader can see them and visually interact;" said Mike Marcellin, vice president of product marketing for Verizon Business. "High-definition video enriches the collaboration session by delivering a more realistic and lifelike experience than previously available with standard video conferencing.

"As organizations continue to consider use of immersive video conferencing in the longer term, high-definition video conferencing offers an improved, immediate and cost-effective alternative to in-person meetings," Marcellin added. "This new service is one of several advancements we are rolling out to help our customers collaborate more effectively boost their productivity and meet their goals to 'go green.'"

High definition TV (HDTV) is the newest video system standard for transmitting a TV signal with far greater resolution than the standard definition used in North America and in much of Western Europe and several other countries around the world.

Like HDTV, HD video conferencing provides images with finer resolution and a sharper, clearer picture. While HDTV is a one-way broadcast that transmits video in one direction, video conferencing is a real-time, two-way interactive video communication.

The HD video supported by Verizon conferencing provides a quality high- definition experience with a screen resolution frame size of 1,280 x 720 pixels and a transmission speed of 30 frames per second.

To take advantage of the offering, customer equipment must support high definition at each location participating in HD meetings. The access may be provided through the public Internet or over Verizon Private IP service, with four access speeds available -- 1,152kbps (kilobits per second), 1,472kbps, 1,536kbps and 1,920kbps.

Verizon Business offers a range of video-related products, including a telepresence solution. The new high-definition video conferencing offering

helps enrich the company's portfolio of products and services, which can meet virtually any customers' needs.

Making it Easier to Collaborate

In addition to the new HD video conferencing service, Verizon Business recently announced several enhancements to its Web and audio conferencing services that will help make it easier for organizations around the globe to use their conferencing services and improve collaboration. These include:

-- Mobile Conference Connection -- Launched last summer and rolled out
internationally last month, Verizon Business' Mobile Conference
Connection service helps busy workers quickly and easily coordinate
spontaneous meetings and boost productivity away from the office by
allowing them to initiate or join a conference call with a few clicks
on any Research in Motion BlackBerry or Microsoft Windows Mobile smart
phone or PDA. For example, Instant Meeting leaders in North America,
Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America can enter their
Instant Meeting Subscription information on their mobile device. They
can then use the device to initiate and schedule spontaneous meetings;
send e-mail meeting invitations; and enable participants' ability to
join conference calls via a link embedded in an e-mail invitation that
participants receive via their mobile registered device. In addition,
leaders can join audio calls by having a conference call bridge contact

-- Sub-Conferencing -- Verizon Business' Instant Meeting audio conference
service now allows conference leaders to create virtual breakout rooms
during a live conference call. This feature gives customers additional
flexibility when hosting a call by enabling participants to break out
into smaller groups -- without having to join another call - and then
to reconvene in the main conference. The leader can initiate up to nine
sub-conferences within the main conference. Participants can be moved
into a sub-conference through either the Web Moderator, a Web-based
call-management tool, or through touch-tone commands.

-- Instant Scheduler -- It's now easier to use this service to schedule
audio and Web conferences. The service, a plug-in for Microsoft
Outlook, enables conference leaders to include Instant Meeting and
Instant Net details when sending Outlook invitations to participants.
It also provides a click-to-join link within the meeting invitation for
attendees and provides leaders a quick way to launch the online Web
Moderator to manage the conference. This tool is available in French,
German and Japanese, as well as English.

-- Instant Meeting Instant Scalability -- Verizon Business' Instant
Meeting audio conference service now enables leaders to temporarily
increase the number of lines available for a conference call, before or
even during the call. This enhancement is available through the Web
Moderator call-management tool.

Collaboration is a key driver of business performance, according to "Meetings Around the World: The Impact of Collaboration on Business Performance," a study conducted in 2006 by Frost & Sullivan and sponsored by Verizon Business and Microsoft Corp. The study - which defined collaboration as an interaction between culture and technology such as audio and net conferencing, e-mail and instant messaging - also found that professionals around the world see their collaborative efforts as highly productive and believe that collaboration through communications technologies can provide a competitive advantage. Full details of the report can be found at

Verizon Business, through its expansive global network, is a leading provider of conferencing and collaboration services, enabling organizations to conveniently and effectively collaborate, virtually anytime, anywhere, and helping them improve response time and productivity without the costs associated with business travel. Verizon Business features a wide range of audio, video and Web-conferencing offerings; IP-based services; and some of the most advanced meeting tools available, like telepresence. With more than 30 years of experience delivering conferencing services, Verizon Business today handles millions of virtual meetings each month.

About Verizon Business

Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications , is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large-business and government customers worldwide. Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced communications, security and other professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. For more information, visit

VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web at To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.

January 24, 2008 | posted in | 0 comments [ More ]

Can AT&T Compete With Verizon?

While I still favor Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) could be worth a shot for a trade or longer term position. AT&T is being sold down on yet another pretty good report from a non-homebuilder, non-retailer, non-financial, non-consumer-discretionary company.

Net income was reported at $3.1 billion, or 51 cents per diluted share, compared to $1.9 billion, or 50 cents per diluted share, for 4Q '06. Adjusted earnings were $4.3 billion, or 71 cents per diluted share, up from $2.4 billion, or 61 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman, CEO and president, said that the company "had an excellent fourth quarter, which affirms our outlook for 2008... Our wireless business delivered outstanding results, with the largest quarterly subscriber gain ever posted by a U.S. provider."

The big gains occurred in wireless revenues -- up 16.3% -- representing a 2.7 million net gain in wireless subscribers. Far and away the biggest contributor to the new subscribers were due to the iPhone, which T said was right around the 2 mln level ending the fourth quarter.

So while the market seems to be focused in the myopic view of what T might do today or the next couple of days, I would rather look out a bit into the future and think what these wireless numbers will look like when T has five, seven or even ten million iPhones in circulation, their owners paying monthly fees and possibly subscribing to more income generating services.

AT&T's U-verse platform is still in its infancy: This is where VZ is years ahead.

It reported to have 231,000 video subscribers, up from 126,000 during the third quarter of last year. T hasn't even introduced this to very many markets, in fact, I believe most of these subscribers are currently in the Texas market. So while legacy income streams will keep working themselves down, at least T is positioned with some very key higher margin products to replace them with.

Bottom line, with the stock approaching 52-week lows again, the dividend yield 4.4%, or 1% higher than a 10-year Treasury and the forward P/E a shade over 11 the stock could be worth putting away for a while.

Meanwhile, I continue to believe we are still exhibiting bifurcated economic conditions with some areas in full recessionary mode and other sectors nowhere close. While I don't think it's a stretch to say we are in or will be in a recession I still have the outlook that a full blown recession can still be averted. Maybe a better way to describe this is that we may never "print" an official recession, which is two quarters of negative GDP growth. And if we never "print" an official recession, are many stocks currently selling too cheap or too dear?

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Pink BlackBerry Pearl Coming To Verizon Wireless

It seems like RIM hasn't forgotten the ladies and is prepping a Blackberry in their favorite color, pink. Come tomorrow, you can get your very own BlackBerry Pearl 8130 in pink on Verizon's wireless network. This new phone for the fashion-conscious corporate woman will be available with the same features as the regular BlackBerry Pearl 8130 along with the VZ Navigator, which provides turn-by-turn directions similar to GPS.

The pink BlackBerry Pearl will be available on Verizon beginning on Friday, January 25, 2008, on a two-year contract of $199 after a mail-in rebate. An additional unlimited data plan is available at $29.99 per month on top of voice plan.

Here are its other features:
• Wireless broadband (EV-DO) connectivity for high-speed data transfers, perfect for fast Web browsing
• Premium phone features including Voice Activated Dialing, speakerphone, and noise and echo cancellation technology for clearer calls
• 2 megapixel camera with flash and 5x zoom, able to record video
• Advanced media player and enhanced desktop media manager software allowing customers to easily manage music, pictures and video between their PC and the BlackBerry Pearl 8130
• Externally accessible microSD™/SDHC memory card slot
• Bluetooth® with support for hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits, and other Bluetooth accessories

BlackBerry Pearl goes pink at Verizon

The BlackBerry Pearl has been coming out in a number of new colors lately and we had heard earlier this month that the latest will be this new pink model with Verizon. We knew it was coming soon and today Verizon Wireless along with Research In Motion (RIM) announced that the Pearl in Pink is coming to Verizon stores and online starting tomorrow (Friday).

Gone are the days of smartphones lacking style and color according to Verizon as they describe the pink BlackBerry Pearl 8130 as “chic and sophisticated”, and it still packs all the same communication features of it’s bland siblings and Verizon’s tools via the EV-DO network. The pink version, just like the others can browse the web with the Verizon wireless broadband connection, has a speakerphone, 2 megapixel camera, media player, external microSD memory card slot, wireless Bluetooth and that not-quite-QWERTY keyboard.

Verizon is offering the Pearl 8130 in the new pink color for $199.99 with a two year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate. A nationwide email and web plan for BlackBerry customers through Verizon gives unlimited data for an extra $29.99 a month, and they are also offering an additional $100 credit if customers sign up for certain voice and data plans.

Verizon : Verizon celebrates two years of FiOS in New York

Merely months after Verizon dusted off the party hats to celebrate two years of FiOS nationwide, it's throwing an extra special party for the Empire State. As of today, FiOS TV has been available in at least some portions of New York for two whole years, and including the new areas that VZW reached out to last month, over 145 communities can now tap into its fiber-based TV service. Now, watch as the vast majority of the nation forces a grin and congratulates you on having something that we don't.

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