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PictureTel Corp and Concentric Network Corp have launched an IP-based videoconferencing system for use over corporate intranets and the internet. Called Concentric IP Video Services, the product packages can be used with PictureTel’s Venue2000 group videoconferencing system as well as with new H.323 desktop videoconferencing systems, such as PictureTel’s LiveLAN and Microsoft NetMeeting. Videoconferencing over IP is said to be more cost effective, simpler to use, and easier to adopt, according to PictureTel. IP transport, with its distance insensitive pricing, is an inexpensive way for corporations to deploy videoconferencing. Gateway services allow IP-enabled systems to communicate with ISDN systems. Companies can adopt IP videoconferencing while protecting their ISDN-based system investment by using a LAN/WAN gateway, such as PictureTel’s LiveGateway or Gateway Services from Concentric, or installing an adapter unit that IP-enables existing ISDN-based PictureTel Venue or Concorde.4500 systems. In addition, Concentric IP Video Services allow a corporation to integrate other applications on the same network, such as intranet data traffic, internet access, remote access and IP voice services. This adds greater cost savings, since the expense of the IP bandwidth is spread across multiple services, which means there are fewer separate networks to manage, it said.

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