FASTtelco and Tata Communications Launch First Public Cisco TelePresence Solution in the Middle East

November 1, 2010 by | Comments

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, October 31, 2010 – Cisco recently announced that FASTtelco, the leading telecom service provider in Kuwait, and Tata Communications, a leading provider of the new world of communications, unveiled the first public Cisco TelePresence® room in Kuwait and Middle East. The public Cisco TelePresence room in Kuwait City is hosted in the Sheraton Hotel, part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide group. Connectivity will be delivered by Tata Communications to hundreds of public telepresence rooms powered by Tata Communications partners worldwide through its certified Cisco TelePresence network consisting of hosted and managed services within private networks.

The new FASTtelco public telepresence facility will enable consumers and businesses in Kuwait to minimize their travel time and expenses by delivering a live, immersive, face-to-face experience enabled via the network. The Cisco TelePresence solution allows users to enjoy real-time communication and to collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners, even if they are in a different city. A Cisco TelePresence meeting is as simple as making a phone call. Participants sit down at the conference table in one Cisco TelePresence room while other participants in appear to be sitting across the table, in life size, no matter where they are.

Highlights / Key Facts:

  • This launch will expand the collaboration between Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Tata Communications, announced in 2009, to roll out public Cisco TelePresence rooms in Starwood hotels worldwide.
  • Customers will be able to purchase time in the FASTtelco telepresence room on an hourly or daily basis. The room will be installed with a Cisco TelePresence System 3010, which allows up six people to connect simultaneously with up to 48 locations. It comprises three 65-inch plasma screens and a specially designed physical table that seats six participants on each side of the virtual table. It also features an additional LCD display for sharing rich media content and other data using simple auto-collaborate functionality as well as integrated cameras, lights and microphones so that speakers use less power.
  • The ‘real life’ meeting experience provided by Cisco TelePresence is delivered through ultra-high-resolution video that reveals subtle facial expressions conveying nonverbal reactions. Spatial audio allows the transmission of every nuance of the conversation and participants to interact as they would in person.
  • FASTtelco’s public telepresence solution at the Kuwait City Sheraton will help to save time and costs as well as boost productivity by reducing or eliminating the need to travel, thereby facilitating a ‘greener’ environment by reducing the carbon footprint. It will also offer increased flexibility to both businesses and individuals in Kuwait to conduct business meetings or sensitive negotiations like job interviews; collaborate with remote customers, partners or suppliers; orchestrate training for employees or manage remote employees; conduct focus groups and market research; and facilitate ‘face-to-face’ collaboration between industry or academic colleagues on research projects between locations around the world.
  • The public telepresence room in Kuwait will be connected to a number of other rooms around the globe through Tata Communications’ Global Meeting Exchange. The Exchange enables business-to-business meetings between any public rooms or customer-owned private rooms on Tata Communications’ services, as well as rooms on the networks of Tata Communications’ Inter-Exchange partners, BT and Telefonica, and the National Lamda Rail network, which links leading U.S. universities. This network reach makes telepresence a truly global collaboration tool, giving Kuwait a whole new way to engage in the world economy.
  • Cisco TelePresence rooms are also available in Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Sheraton on the Park in Sydney, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, the Westin Los Angeles Airport and W Chicago-City Center. Looking ahead, Starwood anticipates expanding the offering to hotels in key international business markets like Brussels, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.  

Executive Quotes:

  • Fahed Abushaar, area director/general manager, Sheraton Kuwait
  • “This fruitful collaboration is the result of an agreement between Tata Communications and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Sheraton Kuwait’s parent company. Telepresence is available in a number of Starwood properties across the world already, and we are proud to pioneer this unique technology in the Middle East. Sheraton Kuwait has always been synonymous with innovation in the hotel industry, and it is crucial that we continue to evolve our meeting offerings to address the needs of businesses and consumers in Kuwait. Our collaboration with FASTtelco will enable us to do just that.”

  • Radwan Moussalli, managing director Middle East and North Africa, Tata Communications
  • “Businesses are constantly seeking to improve collaboration across a global ecosystem of internal staff, customers, suppliers, service providers and partners. The telepresence experience facilitates better and more frequent business interactions that do not depend on travel schedules, and as a result, companies will see stronger customer relationships, accelerated sales cycles, better project management, tighter integration of remote offices, and countless other benefits to the core business.”

  • Hani El Kukhun, general manager, Cisco covering Kuwait
  • “We believe that introducing such a transformational service in the Kuwaiti market and collaborating with FASTtelco, Sheraton Kuwait and Tata is a highly successful accomplishment for Cisco in the Gulf region. Cisco TelePresence is one of Cisco’s fastest-emerging technologies, and our collaboration with FASTtelco to launch the first public Cisco TelePresence solution in Kuwait marks yet another major landmark for Cisco in the Middle East. We look forward to working with the team to roll out this solution in many more locations throughout Kuwait and the Middle East.

  • Omar Al Kaaki, general manager, FASTtelco
  • “The fast pace of development in the business environment and the rapid growth of companies and associations today have created a necessity to develop new applications that can serve the communication needs of this fast-paced business growth.”

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