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    All you want to know about BlueJeans, Airtel's new videoconferencing bet

    All you want to know about BlueJeans, Airtel's new videoconferencing bet

    All you want to know about BlueJeans, Airtel's new videoconferencing bet
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    By Kritika Saxena   IST (Updated)

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    Less than 10 days after the launch of JioMeet, Airtel has launched its video conferencing app Airtel BlueJeans in partnership with global teleco giant Verizon.

    Less than 10 days after the launch of JioMeet, Airtel has launched its video conferencing app Airtel BlueJeans in partnership with global teleco giant Verizon.
    The company says it is betting big on the partnership and the opportunity it presents in India. Airtel BlueJeans will be available to enterprise customers and will be a big bet for company's digital presence.
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    However, the company is also working on models to deliver the video conferencing solutions to small offices and home offices, said the Bharti Airtel chief executive officer (CEO) Gopal Vittal.
    To avail the service, customers need to register on the Airtel website and their trial will be activated in 24 hours time. It is designed to work across desktop and mobile platforms like its peers in the category and is interoperable with Cisco, Poly, Lifesize and other room system gears that are based on SIP standards.
    Airtel BlueJeans vs Peers
    Airtel BlueJeans will compete with JioMeet, Google Meet, Cisco's WebX, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The management of both the companies believe that the platform will accommodate 50,000 users and is intuitive which sets it apart from peers. Add to that​, concerns around security have arisen with several video conferencing apps.
    As the platform is a paid service (after the first three months) and is available for enterprises and not for mass users, the management believes that it gives it an edge from a privacy perspective. The data of all users and enterprises on the platform will be hosted in India.
    Pricing
    Airtel BlueJeans will be offered initially for a free trial for three months. After three months, the management said it will be offered for a price that is competitive and in line with its peers. It will also offer bundled plans with its broadband services and special plans for its enterprise customers. "The pricing will be segmented at three levels, for large enterprises, medium enterprises, and for really tiny companies, which will be bundled with existing broadband and Internet plans," Vittal said.
    Verizon and Airtel: Extending Partnership?
    In the press meet addressed by Vittal and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, many questions were raised on if this partnership can extend to an equity investment in India as well. Verizon CEO clearly said the mode of the company was to look at strategic partnership and develop their business model and revenue share accordingly. However, the company would be open to extending the partnership to other geographies like Africa once the partnership with India was deepened.
    Airtel BlueJeans vs JioMeet
    For force of habit, we do end up comparing the two telecom giants, Airtel and Jio. So let's compare their recent video conferencing bet as well. From a first look, both cater to a unique customer base with Airtel BlueJeans available for enterprises, small and home offices and JioMeet available to all users and most suited to individual groups.
    However, Airtel does hope to cater to regular customers eventually as well even though the company did not reveal much on how and when they will do that. In terms of pricing, Airtel BlueJeans is a premium paid service (after the first 3 month trial period), whereas JioMeet is free (not just for a short period).
    Disclaimer: RIL, the promoter of Reliance Jio, also controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.
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