Cisco gives Joe Public a go on TelePresence

Suite as a nut

Suite as a nut

Now companies in need of some videoconferencing don't need to pony up in advance for the kit, with the opening of a series of pay-as-you-go facilities.

Cisco has taken the wraps off several new TelePresence rooms available for public use in cities across the globe, including TelePresence Suites in Santa Clara, California and in Taj Hotels in Bangalore, Boston and London.

Tata Communications, which owns Taj Hotels, also plans to open another 100 rooms by the end of next year. One of these is a flagship facility planned for the Pierre Hotel in New York.

The TelePresence suites can be rented on an hourly basis, costing between $299 to $899 depending on the size of the rooms - which range from a one-person cubicle to a group meeting room for up to 18 people.

There are now 1,000 Cisco videoconferencing suites in use in companies and other organisations worldwide, including at the Belgian base of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and at several HSBC offices.