Cisco gives away £3m of conferencing kit

Networking giant donates systems to the governments of Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, but can't name any paying customers

Cisco is to give away five sets of its top-of-the-range conferencing systems.

The recipients will be the governments of five emerging nations: Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Cisco's donation was announced this week at an international donor conference called Paris III, which aims to identify ways to improve future standards of living in Lebanon. The networking giant is donating five sets of its TelePresence 3000 conferencing system.

The TelePresence 3000 systems consist of two sets of three 65-inch plasma screens and enough conference equipment for a dedicated room. Each system ships for $300,000 (£153,000), which, together with an equivalent sum in installation and support, takes Cisco's donation to the five countries to a total of $6m. Cisco intends to complete the five-country deployment by July this year.

Cisco's TelePresence systems are some of the most expensive in the world, competing mainly with HP, which sells a similar product called Halo. The networking giant is currently trying to drive awareness of the TelePresence systems, having launched the product in October.

But a Cisco spokesperson was unable to confirm to ZDNet UK if any TelePresence systems have yet been sold.

Dimension Data, one of the largest global systems integrators, signed up with Cisco last year to try and sell the kit.

Cisco's goal is to sell $1bn of TelePresence systems by 2011 to 2013.

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