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Starwood Hotels and Tata Communications Partner to Roll-Out TelePresence Rooms in Hotels Globally

June 30, 2009 | Chris Payatagool

tata_logo.jpgTelePresence Provides the Experience of in-Person Meetings With Participants in Locations Around the World

SINGAPORE and WHITE PLAINS, NY, June 30 - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc (NYSE:HOT) and Tata Communications, a leading provider of the new world of communications, today announced a partnership agreement as part of an ambitious plan to roll out public Telepresence rooms worldwide.

The agreement will significantly increase Tata Communications' network of public Cisco TelePresence rooms with 10 new facilities opening in Starwood hotels by the end of 2009. The first telepresence suites are planned for Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Sheraton on the Park in Sydney, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, The Westin Los Angeles Airport and W Chicago-City Center. Looking ahead, Starwood anticipates expanding the offering to hotels in key international business markets like Brussels, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Tata Communications Telepresence Service will provide Starwood and its guests an "in person" meeting experience with participants in rooms around the world.


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Tata Network Map

"We believe that public telepresence rooms are the key to increasing the accessibility of telepresence beyond major company offices to their wider ecosystem of users - customers, suppliers, remote workers and business partners. Using managed telepresence services is 'better than being there' and helps companies hold more productive meetings without incurring travel and time costs. More team members can participate in meetings and collaborate around the world," said John Landau, Senior Vice President Global Managed Services from Tata Communications.

"We intend to make telepresence available to as many users as possible with our global network of public telepresence rooms and our suite of managed telepresence networks services for businesses. Our partnership with Starwood is a major step towards making this vision a reality," added Landau.

"Starwood has made a name for itself as an innovator in the hotel industry, and it is crucial that we continue to evolve our meetings offerings to address the needs of today's consumers," said Christie Hicks, Senior Vice President of Global Sales for Starwood. "The partnership with Tata Communications is yet another opportunity for us to bring innovative, cutting-edge technology to our properties, and add true value for our business and conference facilities' guests."

"With global companies under increasing pressure to foster productivity at the least cost, the need for public telepresence rooms is greater than ever. Telepresence that is available on a per use basis enables affordable, high quality communication for the small and medium business or remote/regional office worker. Because of the decentralized nature of business today, without public room deployments, telepresence can never achieve the critical mass needed to realize the full potential of this exciting video technology. Tata Communications is aggressively investing and building public telepresence rooms to help achieve this potential and meet the needs of the global workplace," said Paul Waadevig, Senior Consultant on Unified Communications, Frost and Sullivan.

Cisco TelePresence provides life-like, high definition, conferencing facilities with superior audio, video and environmental qualities allowing participants to meet their colleagues, customers and business partners across a virtual table. The public facility offers users who do not have Telepresence rooms in their companies, access to this cutting-edge technology at an affordable per hour rental rate. Tata Communications has several operational public rooms in India (Mumbai, Bangalore (x2), Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Gurgaon), UK (London) and USA (Boston), and has recently announced an agreement to manage a public room in Manila for PLDT in the Philippines.

Tata Communications is unique in offering a comprehensive Cisco-certified TelePresence network consisting of hosted and managed service within private networks, between the world's first public rooms and soon, across an open global telepresence exchange. Later this year, Tata Communications plans to launch its Global Meeting Exchange service that will conveniently support business-to-business sessions between any telepresence rooms (public or private) subscribed to the service, regardless of the network service provider. This pioneering global service framework pushes Telepresence from being a private intra-company experience to supporting the strong demand for open inter-company sessions. European CEO Magazine named Tata Communications the Best Managed Telepresence Service Provider of the Year.

For further information on Tata Communications Telepresence Services and Starwood, visit http://www.tatacommunications.com/telepresence or http://www.starwoodhotels.com

About Tata Communications

Tata Communications is a leading global provider of a new world of communications. With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global and pan-India network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises, service providers and Indian consumers.

The Tata Global Network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks, a Tier-1 IP network, with connectivity to more than 200 countries across 400 PoPs, and nearly 1 million square feet of data center and collocation space worldwide.

Tata Communications' depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services, leadership in global international voice, and strategic investments in operators in South Africa (Neotel), Sri Lanka (Tata Communications Lanka Limited), Nepal (United Telecom Limited), and subject to approval by the Chinese government, China (China Enterprise Communications).

Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. (NYSE: TCL)

http://www.tatacommunications.com

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 960 properties in 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Meridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit http://www.starwoodhotels.com.









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