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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bharti Airtel, IBM partner to enhance African mobile market

Bharti Airtel has entered into a 10-year partnership with the International Business Machines (IBM) to enhance its mobile operations on the continent, which would be finalized in the fourth quarter of this year.

Spokesman for Bharti Group, Ashutosh Sharma and Ms Maureen Muthua of IBM confirmed these in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online at the weekend.

They also said that the 10-year agreement in principle will extend innovative relationship that began six years ago between the two companies, whilst IBM handles the Information Technology (IT) for Bharti Airtel’s 16 operations in Africa.

This, they said, is the first of its kind alliance in Africa to enable Bharti Airtel to deliver innovative and affordable Second Generation (2G) and Third Generation (3G) mobile services across the continent.

In addition, the partnership, they said, would avail a cutting-edge technology from IBM to bring improve efficiencies and benefit customers, employees and business partners of Bharti Airtel.

As said by them, the partnership would accelerate the transformation of African mobile communications and positively impact the speed of economic development across the African continent, Bharti Airtel Limited and IBM today announced the selection of IBM to manage the computing technology and services that power Bharti Airtel’s mobile communications network spanning 16 African countries.

Under a completed agreement, IBM would deploy and manage state-of-the-art information technology infrastructure and applications to support Bharti Airtel’s goal of bringing affordable and innovative mobile services to remote locations in Africa.

Sharma further said, IBM would deploy advanced technologies created by its research, including the ‘Spoken Web’ a voice-enabled Internet technology that allows users to access and share information simply by talking over an existing telephone.

This, he said, particularly compel populations with little or no literacy, visual impairments, or which lack access to Personal Computers (PCs).

When completed, they said, the agreement will extend a deep relationship between IBM and
Bharti Airtel that was established in 2004 when South Asia’s leading mobile communications provider tapped IBM to run the IT and applications for its entire Indian network.

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