Zoom gets Unified License to grab a greater share of India's burgeoning UCaaS market

After Cisco and RingCentral, Zoom now acquires Unified License to grow its market share by offering new products in India.

Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor

May 9, 2023

3 Min Read
Zoom gets Unified License to grab a greater share of India's burgeoning UCaaS market

The Indian government recently granted Zoom Video Communications, a web conferencing company, a Unified License with access covering all of India, National Long Distance (NLD) and International Long Distance (ILD). This will allow it to offer Zoom Phone, a cloud-based private branch exchange (PBX) service, to enterprises in the country.

"As a global cloud PBX application service, Zoom Phone will support MNCs and businesses in India with consolidation efforts, as these organizations can now have a single communication platform for their global workforce," says Abe Smith, Head of International at Zoom in a blog. Zoom offers phone numbers and calling plans in 47 countries.

Figure 1: Zoom is following in the footsteps of Cisco and RingCentral in India. (Source: Kay Roxby/Alamy Stock Photo) Zoom is following in the footsteps of Cisco and RingCentral in India.
(Source: Kay Roxby/Alamy Stock Photo)

Before Zoom, other unified communications as a service (UCaaS) players – Cisco Webex and RingCentral – have also secured a Unified License in India. It allows them to provide an improved quality of services as they can offer local numbers as part of their solutions without relying on a third party.

All this points to the growing potential of India for players in this segment. Apart from Zoom, major companies in India in this sector include Cisco Webex, Tata Communications, Avaya and Microsoft Teams.

India's UCaaS market is booming as global players come up with plans to capture this segment. Much like in other countries, the COVID-19 pandemic was a disruptive event for India's UCaaS market, as frequent lockdowns and stringent social distancing norms led to the widespread adoption of cloud-based unified communications (UC) solutions. Before the pandemic, the market was dominated by on-premise solutions used by large enterprises.

Growing potential of SME and MSME market

One of the critical reasons for the growing interest in India's UCaaS market are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). At the end of December 2022, there were more than 60 million of these in India. The outbreak of the pandemic made this sector aware of the power of UC and it is much more open to adopting technology solutions.

Some UCaaS players, like Cisco Webex, recently reduced the pricing to suit the Indian small and midsize businesses and to make it easier for them to transition to a paid version. This is hardly surprising, considering India is the largest market for Cisco Webex outside the US. Similarly, Microsoft Teams launched a free version, Teams (Free), for small and micro enterprises.

Growing popularity of hybrid working and remote working will lead to greater adoption of UC solutions in the country. Further, Indian enterprises are increasingly exploring hiring from tier-2 and tier-3 cities to bring down the growing cost of hiring and retaining talent in metropolitan areas. This is also likely to increase the use of collaboration solutions.

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Additionally, the recent launch of 5G services is likely to propel India's UCaaS market further as it promises to improve the quality of video and audio conferencing. UC solutions recorded limited uptake in the pre-pandemic era because existing networks were not able to provide optimal experience. Increased 4G deployment and availability of 5G in major towns and cities is likely to drive the growth of the Indian UCaaS industry.

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— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Gagandeep Kaur

Contributing Editor

With more than a decade of experience, Gagandeep Kaur Sodhi has worked for the most prominent Indian communications industry publications including Dataquest, Business Standard, The Times of India, and Voice&Data, as well as for Light Reading. Delhi-based Kaur, who has knowledge of and covers a broad range of telecom industry developments, regularly interacts with the senior management of companies in India's telecom sector and has been directly responsible for delegate and speaker acquisition for prominent events such as Mobile Broadband Summit, 4G World India, and Next Generation Packet Transport Network.

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