Another Zoom alternative approaches as Airtel readies app launch

Video conferencing
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The video conferencing market is set to get another major competitor after another Indian heavyweight revealed plans to launch its own offering.

Telecoms giant Bharti Airtel is set to launch its own rival to the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Teams as it looks to grab a slice of the market.

The news comes days after the announcement of JioMeet as Indian providers look to take advantage of the remote working boom following the global pandemic.

Airtel launch

The Economic Times, quoting a person ‘close’ to the company, reports Airtel is set to launch several enterprise-grade products - one of which is a unified video conferencing tool. 

The service is initially going to be launched for start-ups and small businesses, however Airtel may look at a wider roll-out depending on the kind of reception it gets, the source added.

Airtel’s putative video conferencing tool will work on both smartphones and desktops both and will use the latest AES 256 encryption along with multiple authentication layers for security.

Airtel already provides a slew of video conferencing solutions along with 4G, MPLS and FTTH connectivity, boasting tie-ups with Zoom, Cisco WebEx and Google Meet under its ‘Work@Home’ solutions for enterprises.

JioMeet rival

Airtel's videoconferencing app will look to promote its localization and security as key selling points - areas which have been weak spots in Zoom.

As mentioned, Indian telecom giant Jio rolled out its conferencing platform JioMeet last week, with reports of over a million downloads on the Google Play Store already.

The free service offers enterprise-grade host control and security and can be used for 1:1 video calls and hosting meetings with up to 100 participants, allowing  unlimited meetings per day and each meeting can go uninterrupted up to 24 hours.

JioMeet allows for easy sign up with either mobile number or email ID, and offers meetings in HD audio and video quality.

Zoom has already hit back against its new rivals, doubling down on promises of safety and usability.

"We know what it takes to become the unified communications platform we are today, including the immense amount of work and focus required to create our frictionless user experience, sophisticated security, and scalable architecture," the company said in a press release.

In a statement earlier this week, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan also said his company would put mechanisms in place to make sure that security and privacy remain a priority in each phase of its product and feature development.

Buffetted by privacy and security snarls, Zoom took a 90-day pledge on April 1 to make a number of enhancements to address security and privacy.

"We cannot and will not stop here. Privacy and security are ongoing priorities for Zoom, and this 90-day period while fruitful was just a first step," said Yuan.

Via: Economic Times

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.