Home / Industry / Telecom /  Airtel ties up with US-based Verizon to launch video conferencing service

Bharti Airtel Ltd on Tuesday announced partnership with US telecom giant Verizon Wireless-owned BlueJeans to launch its video conferencing service, Airtel BlueJeans, for enterprises. The service, to be launched tonight, will be offered for free for the first three months.

“We are very excited for this partnership with Verizon and want to drive Airtel BlueJeans to the next level…Its pricing is very competitive compared to other players in the market," said the Indian telco’s chief executive officer (CEO) Gopal Vittal at a press briefing.

The product will initially be offered to small, medium and large enterprises, with each having to pay different prices for their packages, which “will be bundled with interesting broadband and internet plans," Vittal said.

Amid the ongoing data security concerns and the covid-19 pandemic increasing the need for remote working, Vittal said Airtel BlueJeans is confident of providing privacy to end users’ data stored in India.

“What we have today in the development of Airtel BlueJeans is that not only it is a secured enterprise-based platform, which commits end users’ privacy for data that is stored in India, we also have a seamless product that can be used across all devices," he said.

With this service, Airtel will compete with the likes of Reliance’s JioMeet, launched earlier this month, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts.

Mint had on 5 July reported that Bharti Airtel was planning to launch its own video conferencing service initially for startups and enterprises and will likely roll out the platform for regular customers after assessing the response.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd's video conferencing service JioMeet was launched on 1 July, which is free to use. Though the platform has drawn flak on social media for being starkly similar to Zoom, it has started gaining popularity among government officials.

Niti Aayog chief executive officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant and NK Singh, chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, have endorsed JioMeet on social networking website Twitter.

Vittal on Tuesday also said the new video conferencing platform is “5G ready and so to that extent, as the technology evolves, this will only get better." However, Vittal declined to comment on specific questions about Airtel’s plans to roll out 5G and the cost of spectrum.

Verizon had acquired BlueJeans Network in April. The cloud-based video conferencing and event platform service already has Facebook Inc and Standard Chartered as some of its key clients.Verizon had in April said the acquisition will expand its immersive unified communications portfolio.

BlueJeans’ cloud-based video service currently serves a wide variety of business segments from small organisations to some of the world’s largest multinational brands, and has played a significant part in continuing those companies’ operations during the ongoing work-from-home surge, Verizon had said.

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