AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS, 1997 DEC 12 (NB) -- By Steve Gold, Newsbytes. Postkantoren, a division of the Dutch Post Office, has announced plans to install a national videoconferencing network. The Post Office has contracted with NCR and Zydacron for the supply of the system, which it will use as a remote telesales vehicle.

According to Postkantoren officials, the state organization has contracted with Zydacron for the supply of its Z-250 codec technology, which will be used along with NCR kiosk hardware. Plans call for the postal authority to use the codec in its new Tele-Advisor videoconferencing kiosks, which it will install in post offices across the Netherlands.

The aim of the kiosks is that they will act as remote sales vehicles for various postal services, as well as financial products and services from third- party companies.

"Now, you can communicate with a mortgage adviser anywhere a Tele- Adviser is located through videoconferencing," explained Tom van Son, a spokesperson for the Dutch Postkantoren.

Pilot versions of the Tele-Advisor kiosks have been installed at key sites in the Netherlands for several months, Newsbytes notes, but the Postkantoren is now planning to roll out the scheme to most major post offices across the Netherlands.

According to Post Office officials, four kiosks were deployed as part of the pilot scheme, which showed that around 83 percent of customers had a positive outlook on the technology.

Under the full scheme, a further 75 kiosks, based around NCR hardware and Zydacron's video and audio codecs, are being installed at post offices across the Netherlands.

Externally, the Tele-Advisor kiosk looks like a photo booth, Newsbytes notes, and officials claim that the kiosk is the first videoconferencing telephone approved for use in the Netherlands.

Initially, the kiosks will be used to dispense financial services, such as mortgage enquiry handling. Early in the New Year, the Dutch Post Office plans to use the kiosk to sell a wide variety of products and services, including sales of bonds, financial services consultations and training services.

Reported by Newsbytes News Network, .