Bharti Airtel announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with Verizon * to launch the BlueJeans video conferencing service in India and serve business customers in the world's second largest Internet market.
The videoconferencing service, which is operated in India under the brand name Airtel BlueJeans, offers enterprise-level security (including encrypted calls, lock and password protection for a meeting and generation of random meeting IDs), a cloud point presence in India to a low level Enable latency, HD video and Dolby Voice and can accommodate up to 50,000 participants on a call.
Gopal Vittal, managing director of Airtel, said in a conversation with reporters on Tuesday that the Indian telecommunications operator was looking for ways to bring Airtel BlueJeans to private customers, but warned that such an offer would take at least a few weeks to develop.
Airtel BlueJeans will be offered to companies free of charge for the first three months. After that, the video conferencing service will be offered at a “very competitive” price, said Vittal. Airtel will offer tailored pricing plans for large and small companies, he added.
Airtel, the third largest telecommunications operator in India with 300 million subscribers, already partners with G Suite, Cisco Webex and Zoom. However, Vittal said that working with Verizon was "special" and allowed him to host data in India himself.
Verizon acquired BlueJeans in April this year. At that time, BlueJeans had over 15,000 business customers. Verizon's CEO, Hans Vestberg, said on Tuesday that the American telecommunications giant was confident that Airtel BlueJeans would make great strides in the Indian market, but declined to share numbers.
Vestberg said Verizon is open to expanding this partnership with Airtel to serve the Indian telecommunications operator's business in the African market, although both are currently focused on serving customers in India.
Tuesday's announcement comes as video conferencing services in India have gained impressive momentum in recent months. The Zoom app, which is also available to consumers, has already collected data that an industry manager shared with theinformationsuperhighway, according to App Annie, a mobile intelligence company.
Reliance Jio Platforms, the leading telecommunications operator in India with nearly 400 million subscribers, launched its video conferencing service JioMeet earlier this month. JioMeet is currently available to both consumers and business customers free of charge. A service session can take up to 24 hours.
"We know that we are not the first to start a video conference in India, but we are confident that our differentiated offering and brand value will stand out," said Vittal.
Airtel BlueJeans, which includes the functions, meetings, rooms and gateway for Microsoft teams from BlueJeans, will go live in India on Tuesday evening.
* Verizon is theinformationsuperhighway's parent company.