Verizon establishes partnership with Tata to extend its telepresence reach

Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) new telepresence service partnership with Tata Communications (NYSE: TCL) illustrates that even with for all of its large set of assets its network won't reach everywhere.

Through the agreement with Tata Communications, Verizon will be able to help its telepresence customers conduct meetings and any public or private telepresence room on the Tata Communications Global Meeting Exchange, which is present in 31 cities on five continents.

The Tata partnership will complement Verizon's own telepresence offerings that are carried over its global Private IP network service. As a reciprocal relationship, Tata Communications' telepresence customers can use Verizon's facilities to communicate with Verizon customers. 

Jeff Cayer, group manager of visual communications for Verizon, said in an interview with FierceTelecom that the latest effort with Tata is way to enhance the immersive video exchange platform it debuted last year.       

"This is our next step in achieving our any to any vision by enabling any endpoint, any device using any type of connectivity," he said. "Traditionally, all of us carriers have been islands of MPLS for our customers so it's important to reach beyond that so our customers can gain greater utilization of their endpoints and create value to invest in video."

The new agreement represents an important way to help customers migrate towards a unified communications and collocation (UC&C) strategy that includes three main elements: voice, messaging and video.

In addition, Cayer said that its agreement with Tata will help it advance into the public telepresence room space. "While the economics never made a lot of sense to Verizon to build public telepresence rooms, partnering with Tata will allow our customers to reach their 31 public rooms in locations like the Taj Majal and other hotel properties they own."

Initially, Verizon and Tata Communications customers will be able to use Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) TelePresence to conduct intercarrier telepresence meetings. Going forward, the two service providers will establish agreements with other telepresence vendors and service providers.

Verizon and Tata have both been active on driving telepresence interoperability between service providers. In addition to being both founding members of the new Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC), Tata, for instance, signed a recent interoperability agreement with Orange. Meanwhile, Orange itself signed a telepresence agreement with Telefonica this week that will enable their respective customers to access each other's network to conduct telepresence sessions.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Orange Business Services, Telefonica dial up telepresence pact
OVCC targets videoconferencing interoperability
Orange Business, Tata team for telepresence interoperability
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