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Telecom industry leaders join forces to form Global Meeting Alliance

January 31, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
tata_communications_logo.jpgTata Communications and nine telecom leaders pledge their commitment to interconnect their business video communities - driving cross-network collaboration globally

New York (NYSE) & Mumbai (BSE) - 31 January 2012
- Tata Communications, together with nine global service providers, today announced the launch of the Global Meeting Alliance(TM), an open ecosystem of leading telecom providers that have aligned to interconnect their respective business video communities. Launch members include Sprint, Glowpoint and TELUS in North America, Safaricom in Africa, Telstra in Australia, Etisalat, Qtel and Mobily in the Middle East, and Neotel in South Africa. The launch represents the largest functioning global collaboration between Service Providers in business video services.

Peter Quinlan, Vice President, Integrated Business Video Services, Tata Communications, says, "Tata Communications continues to demonstrate its commitment to facilitating an open, global ecosystem that moves business video from an intracompany experience to a collaboration tool with worldwide reach. The Global Meeting Alliance is central to this strategy, and today, all alliance members are taking a major step towards making an open community for business video a reality."

The Global Meeting Alliance network allows any service provider to connect to enterprises and institutions on all major continents, irrespective of service provide*, following a similar business model to the airline alliance networks. Leveraging Tata Communications' industry-leading number of intercarrier agreements, customers of the Global Meeting Alliance members now have access to an international Telepresence network of 3rd party video endpoints, as well as the largest global public Telepresence room network consisting of 40 public Telepresence suites in 20 countries. In addition, the community will engage in a collaborative approach to solve shared-industry challenges with the central objectives of making business video available globally, simple to connect and affordable for all.

"This is a major step forward for the video conferencing industry and its customers," says Andrew W. Davis, Senior Partner and Co-Founder of Wainhouse Research. "By making B2B calls easier and by interconnecting different carriers, the Global Meeting Alliance will drive the usage of videoconferencing and Telepresence systems, enabling customers to see faster and higher returns on their investments. With its history of wholesale network services, intercarrier experience, and public room support, Tata Communications is in a unique position to launch this alliance."

The Global Meeting Alliance will simplify the launch and operation of business video worldwide, making it more affordable and enabling service providers to optimise their regional networks to interconnect with a global network and conferencing infrastructure maintained by the Global Meeting Alliance operator.  


Global Meeting Alliance launch member quotes:

Mike McRoberts, Director of Product Management, Sprint, says, "Sprint is excited to participate in the Global Meeting Alliance initiative. With the tremendous growth in business video, Sprint is committed to leveraging the Global Meeting Alliance and its open ecosystem foundation to deliver the benefits of a rich global collaboration experience to our customers."

Joe Laezza, Chief Executive Officer, Glowpoint says, "Being part of the Global Meeting Alliance is an honour, and it will also provide significant value to our customers. We know customers want to extend their reach with video and collaborate with customers and key partners globally. Participating in the Global Meeting Alliance will position us to grow our OpenVideo(TM) community and provide business-to-business exchange services that enable businesses to build communities of interest and get more out of their investment in video."

Tony Krueck, Vice President, Business Products & Services, TELUS, says, "Many Canadian businesses rely on International communications to maintain their competitive edge, be it with their remote offices, with suppliers and/or customers. They look to TELUS to provide the comprehensive collaboration solution that their businesses need. As a member of the Global Meeting Alliance, TELUS is able to maximise the value that we provide to our customers by greatly increasing their business-to-business collaboration options."

Philip Jones, Executive Director, Data IP Network Application & Services, Telstra, says, "Telstra is proud to be the exclusive Australian partner in the Global Meeting Alliance. Telepresence and business video services are becoming increasingly popular with Australian organisations as they offer significant productivity and cost benefits while enabling more collaborative working practices. We expect this demand to rise substantially in 2012 and beyond. Telstra's customers expect simple, reliable and cost effective services and our participation in the Global Meeting Alliance will assist in meeting their expectations."

Dr. Marwan Al Al Ahmdai, CBO, Mobily, says, "Saudi Arabia is home to many global companies that need to interact with different offices, partners and customers around the globe. Mobily's participation in the Global Meeting Alliance provides these organisations options to leverage business video to enhance this collaboration."

Kennedy Ojunga, Manager, Virtual Collaboration Services, Safaricom, says, "By being part of the Global Meeting Alliance, our services seamlessly and conveniently allow enterprises to conduct meetings with individuals and groups in any part of the world without being physically present, helping to reduce travel costs and enhance productivity, while improving employee quality of life."

A standard set of processes and guidelines are applicable for service delivery and operations for all Alliance members. In addition, common customer services tools will be used to schedule, conduct and provide support for video meetings. This will reduce the complexity of usage for the end user and ensure that a standardised approach and quality is adhered to by the Alliance.

To participate in global meetings the end user or their Global Meeting Alliance service provider leverages a centralised scheduling system to book business video conferences with any other certified organisation. Meetings are either initiated directly by the Global Meeting Alliance conference production team or by the end user who dials a meet-me access number and enters the PIN provided by the scheduling system. All meetings are enabled by a carrier-grade global video platform with infrastructure in four geographically diverse locations.

The Global Meeting Alliance service providers have integrated their services with the Global Meeting Alliance inter-company system which enables customers to book and launch meetings with end-users that are not directly served by the same service provider. The service supports video business sessions that can include SD, HD and Immersive devices from the Cisco, Tandberg and Polycom product lines.  

For more information, visit www.globalmeetingalliance.com

*Participating service providers only.


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 centre 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 South Africa (Neotel), Sri Lanka (Tata Communications Lanka Limited) and Nepal (United Telecom Limited).

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).

www.tatacommunications.com


Forward-looking and cautionary statements
Certain words and statements in this release concerning Tata Communications and its prospects, and other statements, including those relating to Tata Communications' expected financial position, business strategy, the future development of Tata Communications' operations, and the general economy in India, are forward-looking statements. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including financial, regulatory and environmental, as well as those relating to industry growth and trend projections, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Tata Communications, or industry results, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, among others, failure to increase the volume of traffic on Tata Communications' network; failure to develop new products and services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; failure to successfully complete commercial testing of new technology and information systems to support new products and services, including voice transmission services; failure to stabilize or reduce the rate of price compression on certain of the company's communications services; failure to integrate strategic acquisitions and changes in government policies or regulations of India and, in particular, changes relating to the administration of Tata Communications' industry; and, in general, the economic, business and credit conditions in India. Additional factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, many of which are not in Tata Communications' control, include, but are not limited to, those risk factors discussed in Tata Communications' various filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are available at www.sec.gov. Tata Communications is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements









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