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India to See Two Unified Video Conferencing Challengers to Zoom

July 08, 2020

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Business VoIP Contributor

While the global COVID-19 pandemic introduced the world to Zoom, in the interim months, telecom rivals have been running to catch up and provide their own videoconferencing solutions. In India,  telecom operator Reliance Jio recently introduced its video calling platform called Jio Meet. The solution, which was introduced on July 1, is free to use.

Jio Platforms, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, is a next-generation technology company focused on providing high-quality and affordable digital services across India, with more than 388 million subscribers. The company is backed by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man. The new unified video conferencing service offers enterprise-grade host controls, according to the company, including password protection for each call, multi-device login support for up to five devices and screen-sharing and collaboration options.

Not to be outdone, its telecom rival Bharti Airtel recently announced it was preparing to introduce a competing unified video conferencing solution. Bharti Airtel Ltd says it will tap into the growing market for such video conferencing platforms that already has players such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts as well as JioMeet, but it will exceed the offerings other organizations have in the space. Zoom has often been criticized for security flaws that allow unauthorized intrusions into group conferences.

"We are close to launching several enterprise-grade products including a unified video conferencing tool very shortly," a person close to Airtel's plan told India’s Economic Times, adding that the solution will first be offered to enterprises, after which time the company will decide whether to launch it for individual users. The initial product will emphasize the kind of complex security required for employees who are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Airtel is focusing on high levels of security as the USP of the product given the growing debate around cybersecurity as people work from home," the source told the Economic Times.

Both companies have stated that their goal is to further the “Digital India” initiative, which seeks to supply affordable telecom services to 1.3 billion Indians and propel India into global leadership in the digital economy.

Edited by Maurice Nagle



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