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Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00
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Airtel gives customers free roaming call, wins Africom award

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), a global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa has introduced the world’s first free intercontinental incoming roaming service by including India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to its current bouquet of one network services for its African customers. Airtel customers already avail this facility across the company’s mobile network in 17 countries across Africa.

Airtel customers in Africa will not need to register for the one work service or buy new SIM cards as they will now be automatically provisioned as ‘citizens’ of Airtel’s borderless network across 20 countries in Africa and Asia. This offers opportunities to a base of 60 million Airtel customers in Africa to roam at affordable tariffs in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

By offering free incoming calls whilst roaming, the service ups the ante for global telecom providers, as the seamless service across continents is a world-first amongst mobile service providers.

This will greatly benefit the travelling population, consisting of tourists, corporates, businessmen and students who want to keep in touch with people back home.

Commenting on the service, Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Africa, Andre Beyers, said: “Mobile communication has the ability to connect communities. Airtel’s ONE NETWORK now gives our customers the ability to drastically reduce roaming charges whilst travelling within and across the two continents. Our goal is to provide affordable and relevant mobile communication solutions across borders.”

Within 17 African countries, one network also allows Airtel customers to use their local Airtel SIM cards whilst abroad, giving them access to attractive rates for calls made, access data, enjoy value added services and recharge using local top up vouchers in the country visited.

The service is poised to benefit increasing intra-regional trade between Africa and the South Asian nations, which currently stands at over USD 60Billion. Equally, the number of travellers between Africa and the three countries has been growing. India is the main destination for most of African travellers for trade, its tertiary educational institutions and affordable medical facilities.

Meanwhile, Airtel in conjubction with ZTE Corporation  a global provider of telecommunications equipment, network solutions have won the Best Cost Efficiency Initiative Award at the Africa Com Awards held in Cape Town, South Africa for their Hybrid Power Solution.

ZTE’s Solar+DG Hybrid Power Solution is a green energy solution specially designed for Bharti Airtel Africa base station sites. The solution significantly reduces the use of Diesel Generators by almost 80 per cent.

 It efficiently utilizes solar power alongside existing diesel therefore optimizing initial investment on CAPEX.

Compared with traditional hybrid solutions, this new hybrid solution enhances the consistency of power supply of the sites and provides Airtel with a flexible investment strategy.

It especially reduces carbon emission in addition to OPEX savings. By going green with ZTE’s solution, Airtel benefits from the perfect balance between Operating Expense Saving and Capital Expenditure whilst greatly contributing to environmental protection.

Airtel’s Director of Supply Chain Management in Africa Amitabh Prasad, said, “Airtel is committed to making telecom affordable across Africa on a sustainable basis. ZTE did a great job in implementing the Solar Hybrid solution. We have started to reap benefits from our investment both in terms of fuel savings and environment protection, which is a real win-win for all of us.”

“We are honoured to receive this award; it consolidated ZTE’s achievements in the telecom sectors,” said ZTE SVP Mr. Wang Jiaran. “ZTE has established the foundation and partnership with Bharti Airtel Africa and we will continue to bring valuable products and services to our African customers”.

The countries covered by Airtel One Network Services are: Kenya, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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