AT&T Reinforces Commitment in India
Hosts Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Council Meeting After Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson’s Visit
San Antonio, Texas, Hong Kong, China and New Delhi, India — Reinforcing the commitment to India, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has announced the hosting of the first AT&T Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Council (RAC) meeting of the year in New Delhi from July 17 - 18. The meeting comes just one week after AT&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson visited India, his first international trip since assuming the chairman’s office in June.
In meetings with customers, partners and government officials, Stephenson reiterated the importance of India as a market considered key to the success of AT&T’s overall global strategy.
“We are experiencing a resurgence in the telecom industry that promises even more powerful products and services for customers in the 21st century,” Stephenson said. “Wireless, Internet Protocol and the need for businesses to connect globally are the key factors driving this resurgence, and we at AT&T are well placed to capitalize on these trends in all markets that we operate in, including India.”
“That is why we are investing another US$750 million this year alone to enhance and expand our global Internet Protocol network, and we expect to include two additional nodes in India this year and bring the total to seven across the country,” he added.
As a follow-up to the chairman’s visit, the RAC meeting will bring together some of AT&T’s most important and influential customers to discuss strategies and opportunities for cooperation with AT&T in the Asia Pacific region.
“The RAC meetings represent an opportunity to better align our business strategy and services with the present and future requirements of our customers in the region,” said Gopi Gopinath, vice president of AT&T Asia Pacific. “And India is where a lot of our customers’ focus is, for obvious reasons.”
In October last year, AT&T became the first global telecom operator in India to secure national long distance (NLD) and international long distance (ILD) licenses in India through a joint venture with Mahindra Telecommunications Investment Private Ltd. The milestone was made possible by the liberalization of regulations to allow up to 74 percent foreign ownership in telecom companies. Following this, AT&T India began commercial services in early 2007 with the capability of providing AT&T’s global customers who are operating in India with the same standard of communications services that they enjoy from AT&T elsewhere in the world.
“Experience shows that when telecommunications markets are deregulated, it encourages investment, stimulates competition and promotes innovation. The openness has the effect of stimulating the overall economy. We are very excited about the Indian market beacause it was our fastest-growing Asia Pacific market last year. I am pleased that we — and our partners in India — will be able to help a host of companies achieve their business goals, and we appreciate the government efforts to promote this investment,” concluded Gopinath.
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