BT and Orange Business Services are teaming up to allow users of their respective video exchange systems to hold teleconferences with one another.

The service has been trialled with existing global enterprise customers, and is now being rolled out to all BT and Orange Telepresence Community customers, using Cisco TelePresence equipment. The companies said the collaboration represented a "significant industry advance towards establishing a smooth, end-to-end telepresence experience".

"The broader the range of companies that customers can connect with through telepresence, the higher the return on investment in collaborative technology," said Andrew McFadzen, head of International Network Solutions at Orange Business Services.

Telepresence allows companies to carry out real-time virtual meetings from wherever they are, using advanced video conferencing technology. Cisco TelePresence provides high-definition 1080p video, spatial audio, and a setup designed to link two physically separated rooms so they resemble a single conference room, even though the two rooms may be on opposite sides of the world.

"Replacing face-to-face meetings with telepresence doesn't only reduce travel time and the expense of face-to-face meetings, but also speeds up decision-making, increases productivity, and enhances cross-organisational collaboration that might not exist without virtual meetings," said McFadzen.

Customers can contact their service provider to find out about using the inter-company service. There will be no additional costs, and customers will maintain their existing commercial relationship with their service provider.

A similar telepresence interoperability agreement was made between Orange and Telefonica in June.