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Airtel crosses 50 million customers mark in Africa

  • ● Milestone achieved within 17 months of entering Africa
  • ● Company has invested USD 1 billion this FY towards roll-out of networks
  • ● To continue its strong focus on network quality & coverage, deep distribution network & electronic recharge, innovative data services & superior customer service

New Delhi / Nairobi November 30, 2011: Bharti Airtel Limited ("Airtel"), a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, today celebrated a significant milestone when it acquired its 50 millionth mobile customer in Africa. Airtel has achieved this milestone within just 17 months of acquiring Zain’s mobile operations in 16 African countries and added 14 million new mobile customers during this period.

"This milestone demonstrates our continued dedication and commitment to Africa," said Mr. Manoj Kohli, CEO (International) and Joint Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Limited. “We would like to thank our customers for reposing their faith in brand Airtel and we are committed to serving them with world-class services. I would also like to thank the governments and regulators for their support and would like to reiterate that we share their vision of bridging the digital divide with affordable telecom services."

We have made significant investments in our operations and brought in our ecosystem of world-class IT, networks and customer care partners to Africa and this achievement has been possible through their support and commitment. Airtel will continue bring to Africa world-class and innovative voice & data services that delight customers and add value to their daily lives.”

Airtel has remained committed to providing customers with innovative products and services that transform their lives. It was this commitment that earned the company two global mobile awards for innovation last year during the GSMA Awards in Barcelona. Airtel was recognized for having the Best Mobile Money Product or Solution for its Pay Online product, alongside the Best Customer Care & Customer Relationship Management solution.

By forging strategic relationships with blue chip organisations, the company has ensured that it continues to meet the needs of its customers. Airtel’s business model is focused on the introduction of best practices and infusion of global expertise into the markets where it operates. The organisation has strategically partnered with companies such as IBM, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Huawei, Spanco, Tech Mahindra and Samsung. The collaborations will sustainably introduce the latest technology and offer competitive services, whilst maintaining a focus on core areas within the business.

Airtel Africa has invested approximately USD 1billion in the network infrastructure during the current financial year and is launching the same technology currently being rolled out in Europe and the USA. The organisation has already been awarded 12 3G licenses across its operations and recently launched the first 3G network in Congo B. Earlier this year; the company expanded its footprint by being granted a license to operate a GSM network in Rwanda.

In addition to building the necessary infrastructure, Airtel has signed agreements with leading companies like Nokia, Samsung and Blackberry to provide devices that will enable consumers access the services effectively.

Furthermore, Airtel plans to embark on pan African social initiatives that the consumers have a passion for, an example being the Airtel Rising Stars football program launched earlier this year. Airtel Rising Stars is the largest pan African football talent program, focusing on identifying and nurturing budding talent from the grassroots to a national platform.

Africa is the home to over 1 billion people and is also the world’s youngest population. Under 25’s account for 60% of the total population, compared with around 30% in developed countries. In addition, apart from China and India, nearly all the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook 2011.