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Video comms sees strong growth in 2004

Posted: 06 Jan 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video conference? communication? network? video application? ip?

Over the last few years, the video applications market in China has been focused on special network users and business customers of videoconferencing. Lately, however, telecom operators and ISPs have started offering video communications using Internet Protocol (IP), for instance, the Internet Star Sky of China Telecom and the Baoshitong operation of Unicom. However, it will take awhile for video communications to be commercialized since operators and service providers are still in the experimental period.

This year, we expect the video communications industry to see a huge change. China is formulating a national standard for this industry that will accelerate its growth and that of players in the video communications business.

The development trend for video communications is in large systems based on IP, in which the growth rate of video applications will exceed that of the conventional expert Web and business customers. Such trend will result in corresponding changes to the requirements for video equipment.

Firstly, as the core equipment, the MCU needs to support more access modes than ever. Operators require that MCUs should be able to support all the existing access technologies including EL, IP, ATM and ISDN, and some wireless applications to support various operation modes including high definition, common EL and IP videoconferencing.

Zhongxing Telecom Equipment Co. Ltd has introduced an MCU that satisfies all access protocol requirements and supports different access modes for users to hold videoconferencing.

Secondly, there will be an increase in terminal manifestations such as larger-size, high-definition, computer and video terminals customized for any meeting room.

Another emerging application is the videophone. Currently, the factors that curb its development are bandwidth, price and consumer's concepts. These hurdles are now being gradually eliminated. For example, ZTE cut down the costs of its videophones by using ASIC chips developed in-house. The price of corresponding parts also greatly decreased, as broadband is being popularized in many cities.

Finally, the consumer's desire for video applications based on wireless access has become stronger. Although the existing wireless communication infrastructure is not yet able to support mobile video applications well, the future R5/R6 system will. Technical standards are also becoming more mature - for example, the H.264 and MPEG-4 video coding and decoding standards are approaching maturity. Future users will be able to experience even more secure, higher-quality pictures and controllable video communication effects.

In the end, the driving element for the future visual communication market is not wideband network, but the operation mode and requirements of end-users.

- Fang Yong

Vice President

Zhongxing Telecom Equipment Co.

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