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Grandstream Networks Offers Free Video Calls to Filipinos with NextIX Systems


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June 19, 2009

Grandstream Networks Offers Free Video Calls to Filipinos with NextIX Systems

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor

Grandstream Networks, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of next generation IP voice and video products for broadband networks, has partnered with NextIX Systems, a communication technology solutions provider, and Abot Tanaw Social Media Network to launch a new solution that lets millions of overseas Filipino workers stay in touch with family and friends back home.

The joint solution offers those workers free Internet video calling to their families in the Philippines. Many of the workers don’t have the chance to see or speak to their family members for extended periods of time. This leads to estranged relationships, divorce and strayed children.
As a solution, the Abot Tanaw Social Media Network formed. The network lets overseas Filipino workers and families communicate with each other via video conference for free. The group, which uses Grandstream’s GXV3000 and the NEXTIX platform, installed this solution at six major malls in Philippines and a video call center in Hong Kong with hundreds of GXV3000 video phones, Grandstream Networks (News - Alert) said.
This network will include additional sites in Philippines and also new video service hubs in Singapore, Macau and Taiwan in the future, the company said. Through these hubs, workers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, and Taiwan can now connect with their families in the Philippines.
“We wanted to create an idea where we bridge the distance between OFWs and their families, making them more accessible and affordable,” Ephraim Genuino, chairman of Abot Tanaw, said in a statement. “Hearing the voice is good, but nothing beats looking at a face while talking.”
The technology is growing in popularity. For this segment, the solution is especially useful as roughly the number of overseas Filipino workers totals nearly 11 million, according to Grandstream. The Philippine economy relies heavily on workers as money sent home to families accounts for 13.5 percent of GDP. In 2008, the intake was estimated at $15.9 billion.
“High quality real-time video telephony solutions such as those from Grandstream are revolutionizing the way people communicate with their loved ones located remotely,” David Li (News - Alert), CEO of Grandstream, said in a statement. “We will continue to innovate in this space to further improve the user experience and affordability of this technology.”
The project is supported by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (News - Alert), Philippine Department of Labor and Employment and SM Group of Companies.
Grandstream Networks recently made headlines as the firm’s IP-PBXs are now interoperable with Voiceserve’s VoipSwitch platform. As TMCnet reported, small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) using Grandstream IP phone systems can now use hosted VoIP services delivered via Voiceserve’s robust VoIP platform and gain more productivity-enhancing features and cost savings.
In a recent interview with TMCnet’s Erik Linask (News - Alert), Khris Kendrick, senior director of business development at Grandstream Networks, predicted that there will be increasing demand for IP-PBXs and media phones endowed with videoconferencing capabilities among SMBs.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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