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Tata Consolidates Growing Telecom Operations Into Single Brand

Tata Communications integrates the former VSNL, VSNL International, Teleglobe, Tata Indicom Enterprise Business Unit, and Cipris brands.

India's Tata Group, recognizing the growing importance and sheer growth of its various communications operations, has combined five telecommunications units into a new brand to signal the firm's expanding reach and goal of delivering IP services to businesses and consumers on a global basis.

Announced Wednesday, the new Tata Communications brand integrates the former VSNL, VSNL International, Teleglobe, Tata Indicom Enterprise Business Unit, and Cipris brands.

"This will create a greater level of awareness for us," said Srinivasa Addepalli, senior VP of corporate strategy of Tata Communications, in an interview. "It should help us in the U.S. and also address emerging markets."

Addepalli noted that the new brand supports 35 global Internet products, adding that Tata has business relationships with most of the largest companies in the United States.

Centering its attention on IP, MPLS, Ethernet, and managed services, Tata Communications is moving to leverage its Tata Global Network with its submarine cables and IP networks to address the demand of converged IP. Addepalli observed that the division is completing additional submarine cable systems linking Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to Europe. Tata Communications has earmarked $2 billion for global expansion over the next three years.

"We'll have two [additional] areas of focus," said Addepalli. He cited a drive to increase Internet bandwidth and also to beef up efforts in managed services, including managed hosting and managed collaboration among users.

He said investment in IP infrastructure can pay off quickly, pointing to the recent cutting of submarine cables in the Middle East and Tata's ability to recover quickly. "We restored our systems within a day, because of our strength in having so much backup," he said.

Targeting network and services capabilities in India, intra-Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, Tata Communications is upgrading its TGN-Intra Asia and TGN-Eurasia cable systems, which Addepalli said will complement the firm's existing multi-terabit systems already in use across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Tata also is adding to its ambitious WiMax deployment in India, which has been designed to provide high-speed connectivity to more than 100 cities and towns. And, in another new development, the company said it has made a strategic investment in South African service provider Neotel.

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