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Archive for October, 2006

Nearly eight decades after a concept video phone appeared in Fritz Lang’s classic movie ‘Metropolis’ in 1927 and a real one by the beginning of this century in the US, it is time now for the technology to hit Indian shores.

Surat-based YOU Telecom, formally known as Iqara Telecom India, is close to launching India’s first video phones that enable users to make both video and voice calls.

Moreover, it is also planning to usher in an era of non-metred calls, an advanced mode of billing that is prevalent in telecom superior countries like the US and UK. And the costs are around Rs 249 per month for unlimited calls, cheaper than an average entry-level pre-paid recharge coupon of Rs 300-325.

“IP video phones duplicate some of the functionalities of the computer, but is much like the normal black phones with a dial pad and other features. This works on an broadband Internet connection, is a plug-and-play device and the user doesn’t have to wear a headset like use a web camera,” says YOU Telecom chief executive officer E V S Chakravarthy.

The company plans to launch the services by the January next year. The equipment will be brought in from Taiwan and would cost around Rs 17,000 a piece.

YOU Telecom intends to levy a charge of Rs 249 per month for video calls, with subscribers encouraged to make unlimited calls to any destinations across the world.

The calls won’t be metred like the conventional telephone companies. “This paves way for introduction of unmetred scheme, the first of its kind in India,” he claims.

The only problem is that the video phones can only be used as the second phone in the house as they will not work with the plain old telephone system and it is not possible to connect them to another landline number.

However, various tariff modes would be made available. The services would be launched tentatively on January 14, 2007, he says.

Domestic calls could also be made from the company’s network, and the billing would be a similar “unmetred” scheme. So, if you have family and friends scattered around the world and would like to see them and converse with them, look no further.

 

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