SOURCE: Thomson

July 19, 2005 12:38 ET

Thomson and Tata Indicom to Develop Media & Entertainment Activities in India through a strategic agreement with Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd

Boulogne -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 19, 2005 -- Paris, France/Mumbai, India - July 19th, 2005 - Thomson (Euronext 18453) (NYSE: TMS) has entered into a partnership with India's premier Telecom and Internet Service Company, VSNL (NYSE: VSL), part of the USD 17 billion Tata Group. Under the agreement, Thomson and VSNL will jointly explore opportunities, and intend to combine their respective expertise to offer high quality services and new technologies to the Indian media and entertainment market.

Through the partnership, Thomson gains a foothold in the Indian market and will leverage the reputation of the House of Tatas, the brand recognition of Tata Indicom and VSNL's expertise and presence to grow its broadcast, network and telecom activities. The move is in line with Thomson's Two-Year Plan to grow revenues by E1.5 - E2 billion by the end of 2006 and to broaden the Group's Media & Entertainment client base, notably in Asia.

VSNL, one of the largest international bandwidth providers in the world, provides International & Domestic Long Distance, Internet services and end- to-end enterprise telecommunication solutions. Thomson's expertise in digital video technologies will offer significant benefits to VSNL and the companies will explore new opportunities in managing and delivering content for third parties, including broadcasters and content providers, aiming to offer leading edge solutions to VSNL's Media & Entertainment customers in India. Similarly, Thomson believes opportunities will open up for its Grass Valley broadcast and network activity and its Technicolor business, which provide services to media content creators and distributors.

In addition, Thomson and VSNL will explore development of end-to-end solutions for network operators, such as optimised satellite transmission as well as content management and distribution solutions like digital cinema, based on Thomson's world-leading position in solutions and access products.

"Our partnership with Tata/VSNL brings exciting opportunities for Thomson and expands our presence in India, a market of strategic importance to us," said Frank Dangeard, Chairman & CEO of Thomson. "In the short-term, we will reap the benefits of working with VSNL, one of India's leading telecom groups, and our cooperation should provide a solid basis for future growth in Thomson's other core Media & Entertainment activities, such as services for content creators, from post-production to digital cinema."

"The Media and Entertainment sector in India has seen unprecedented growth in the recent past primarily due to the increasing appetite of the Indian consumer, the potential for which is growing by the day. It is therefore a challenging task for service providers like us to provide state-of-the-art solutions which facilitate opportunities for growth for our Media and Entertainment Customers from this sector," said Mr. N. Srinath, Director of Operations for VSNL. "This agreement with Thomson will enable us to offer an unmatched suite of leading edge solutions and services on diverse technology platforms to Media and Entertainment enterprises, resulting in a superior experience for the end consumer."

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries

Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453) (NYSE: TMS) provides services, systems and technology to help its Media & Entertainment clients - content creators, content distributors and users of its technology - realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group is the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands. For more information:

About VSNL

Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) is a leading provider of International Telecommunications Services. VSNL is India's largest player in International Long Distance services and has a strong pan-India domestic Long Distance presence. VSNL is also a leading player in the Corporate Data Market in India today with a strong service offering covering IPLCs, ILLs, Frame relay, ATM and MPLS based IP-VPN services. VSNL has a strong infrastructure base that covers multiple submarine cable systems, switching gateways, IP PoPs and earth stations.

With its recent acquisition of Tyco's global submarine network, VSNL provides seamless connectivity across the globe to carriers and enterprises. VSNL has 30 Points of Presence in 12 countries in North America, Europe and Asia. VSNL also has business operations in Sri Lanka and Nepal and is soon entering South Africa.

In India, VSNL is rapidly growing its retail presence under the Tata Indicom brand through its products like high-speed broadband, dial-up Internet, net telephony and has an Internet subscriber base of over 750,000 subscribers. VSNL is consolidating its presence in the Internet space with an increased focus on the Retail Broadband business.

VSNL is listed on the major stock exchanges in India and also has its ADRs listed on the New York Stock Exchange. (

For more information please contact:


|   Press Relations  |                   |                    |
|  Martine Esquirou  |  +33 1 41 86 58 51|martine.esquirou@tho|
|                    |                   |            |
|  Julie Dardelet    |  +33 1 41 86 65 24|julie.dardelet@thoms|
|                    |                   |              |
|  Investor Relations|                   |                    |
|  Séverine Camp     |  +33 1 41 86 57 23||
|                    |                   |               |
|  David Schilansky  |  +33 1 41 86 52 38|david.schilansky@tho|
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|  Press Relations|                 |                  |
|  Gaurav Wahi    |  +91 22 56568787||
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