Canadian mobile phone users are one step closer to video calling friends, family, and clients across competing mobile networks as Bell, Rogers and TELUS announced the successful completion of two-way mobile video calling trials between carriers. Video calling lets clients create a ‘see-what-I-can-see’ connection with other callers, enabling them to do things like share special moments or get advice on a birthday gift before they buy.

Mobile video calling is currently available through several carriers in Canada, but both callers must be on the same carrier’s network using compatible handsets. When inter-carrier mobile video calling is launched video calling will be possible across multiple carrier networks and will create North America’s largest two-way mobile video calling community.

“We are proud to be part of the first inter-carrier partnership in North America to enable clients to call each other using video capabilities,” said Stephen Howe, chief technology officer for Bell Mobility. “By breaking down the barriers between video calling clients in Canada, we anticipate strong demand for the service – as we saw with past inter-carrier initiatives such as text and picture messaging.”

“The trial uses inter-carrier mobile video calling to take video communications to the next level, creating a much larger video-calling community, and providing customers with greater flexibility and freedom in the way they communicate,” said Upinder Saini, vice president of new product development at Rogers Communications. “This is an exciting development for wireless users in Canada and marks a major milestone for video calling.”

“Mobile video calling is a richer communications experience for family, friends and business contacts,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, chief technology officer at TELUS. “This successful trial with Bell and Rogers is a milestone in the Canadian mobile community.”

Bell, Rogers and TELUS each offer video calling handsets that support the internationally accepted open 3G-324M Video Telephony standard, ensuring compatibility with other systems and carriers supporting the standard.