NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 31 – Bharti airtel, the world\’s fifth largest telecom company, has its sights set on improving the African telecom infrastructure in the coming year.
Manoj Kohli, CEO (International) and Joint Managing Director, Bharti airtel said: "I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers and stakeholders an illustrious start to the New Year. We remain committed to offering affordable services, deepening our network coverage to include the rural population and enhancing the digital experience through 3G across the continent; ultimately offering a better brand experience for all our customers in Africa."
Mr Kohli added: "We would like to thank the governments for their overwhelming support. We want to be a partner in Africa\’s growth and will work closely with the Governments and Regulators to enable the telecom networks touch all parts of society."
In a move that will accelerate the transformation of African mobile communications and positively impact the speed of economic development across the African continent, Bharti Airtel Limited and IBM announced the selection of IBM to manage the computing technology and services that will enhance Bharti Airtel\’s mobile network.
As well as deploying and managing information technology (IT) infrastructure and applications, IBM will deploy advanced technologies created by IBM Research, including the Spoken Web – a voice-enabled Internet that allows users to access and share information simply by talking over the existing telephone network, which is particularly compelling for populations with little or no literacy, visual impairments, or lack access to computers.
In addition, IBM plans to deploy a powerful content management system to offer rich media content such as music and video over mobile devices, while simultaneously facilitating the growth of the application developer community in Africa.
Strategic partnerships with Ericsson, Huawei and NSN will exponentially improve the quality of the network across the African landscape and expand the footprint of the 2G and 3G services. In line with global trends, Africa is experiencing a surge in demand for access to mobile data applications.
The modernisation and optimisation of the networks will give airtel an opportunity to offer exciting services in 2011.
Mr Kohli reiterated: "The partnerships take us one step closer to our vision of making telephony available and affordable for everyone across Africa, even in the most remote areas which are at present disconnected from the world. We are also laying the foundation for the introduction of 3G HSPA wireless broadband as access to content is the right of every African citizen. Mobile broadband is a catalyst for economic growth and development. Many of our new customers will have an online experience for the first time in their lives."
The selection of IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco as strategic partners in the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) sector will provide airtel\’s customers world class support as they utilize the new and existing services.
An additional benefit of the adoption of this BPO model will be the creation of more job opportunities in the countries that airtel operates in within Africa. The global partners will also build local specialist skills, capabilities and resources.
These initiatives, in addition to other products – such as airtel Money – demonstrate airtel\’s ongoing commitment to providing useful services to the community.
Recognizing that a good education is a child\’s strongest barrier for poverty, airtel strives to reach and uplift the underprivileged by investing in education.
The Adopted Schools education initiative launched in 2010, in conjunction with local governments, provides refurbishments, uniforms, scholastic materials, furniture, teaching aides and broadband connections to schools in need. To date, 9,000 underprivileged children across 14 schools have benefited from the initiative.
In 2011, airtel will continue to improve and enhance the program by increasing the number of adopted schools across 16 countries on the continent.