Rogers launches first North American wireless video calling

To dramatize that the tech Cap'n Kirk used for face-to-faces with Klingons is now a reality, William Shatner made the first official video call today.

Toronto HQ’d Rogers Communications unveiled wireless video calling, which turns mobile handsets into real-time webcams, today. Part of Rogers Vision suite of services, the new technology is a first in North America. In addition to wireless video calling, users can access mobile multimedia and visual services like video-on-demand (including YouTube, ET Canada, CSI, CNN); mobile television; radio-on-demand (XM Satellite); and Rogers MusicStore.

To symbolize the initiative’s Star Trek-type capabilities, Canadian actor William Shatner – who regularly used such a device when he played the original Captain Kirk – made the first official video call at a news conference in Toronto. He connected not with Spock or Bones, but with Rogers SVP/CMO John Boynton.

Vision services operate on Rogers’ new 3G network, known as High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), and are touted as the fastest wireless network in Canada. The new mobile video service is starting in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe area and will extend to top markets across the country throughout 2007.

Although other details of the marketing campaign for video calling were unavailable by MiC‘s deadline, Rogers did a four-page, front and back wrap in today’s editions of Metro. <.p>