Airtel reaches 50 million subscribers in Africa

 Bharti Airtel, with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, has announced the signing up of its 50 millionth mobile subscriber 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. 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,” said Manoj Kohli Airtel International chief executive in a media release.

A Bharti Airtel user in Africa

The organization has strategically partnered with companies such as IBM, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Huawei, Spanco, Tech Mahindra and Samsung, in order to sustainably introduce the latest technology and offer competitive services, whilst maintaining a focus on core areas within the business.

Airtel Africa has invested approximately $ 1 billion 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 organization has already been awarded 12 3G licenses across its operations and recently launched the first 3G network in Congo Brazzaville. 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.

Africa is the home to over 1 billion and about 600 million mobile phone subscribers. 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.